Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Policing Continues To Be A Regional Issue That Is Not Being Addressed

We should have a regional police department and we should have it now. The issue comes up often and would clearly have been of value when Peter Lee killed his family in 2007. Typically, criminals do not keep within municipal boarders. A break and enter spree to the east of Harriett street might not be know to the police patrolling the west side of the street.

How can you really argue we would not be better off with the same computer records system, radios, knowledge base and focus on criminals throughout Greater Victoria?

The police officers themselves would prefer it. Perhaps there will not be the opportunity for as many to move up the ranks to Chief, but certainly the opportunities to all would be increased.

The fact is, the problems the police deal with cross every boarder every day and they should be one department to deal with all of it. The cost must be shared.

On May 10, 2009 a Victoria office broke his leg in a downtown melee. Arrested were three men in their mid 20s, from two from Saanich and one from Chilliwack. How can Saanich say they should not share the cost of policing downtown? How can any local municipality?

If my children or I are in downtown Victoria, which they we will be, I want to be safe. I accept that we should all share that cost. The brawl, which the Victoria police dealt with certainly put at risk people from a number of our municipalities.

If downtown is where the risks are, then that is where the region needs to put its resources. If there are problems in View Royal then a regional force will have the resources to deal with it.

The question is: do you want the best police force a city of 350,000 can have or do you want to save some money and put your children at risk when they go out at night?

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