Saturday, October 2, 2010

Why Amalgamating Policing is NOT Enough

If it were thought that simply amalgamating policing might be a good idea and thus reduce the need to amalgamate the cities, one need only see what happened in Victoria/Esquimalt to see why this is not sufficient.

Esquimalt refused to pay $400,000.00 towards the policing budget for the two cities. Victoria was then required to make submissions to the BC Government, which in turn was required to spend time and resources considering the issue and in the result ordered that Esquimalt pay anyway.

At least pay most of it. They can now avoid paying, from $9,000 to $11,000, for their share of two extra officers.

So while the two cities share policing services, there are now different levels of service being offered and paid for in the two cities by the same department. The amount may be small but it is the start of differing level of service being mandated by the fact that each council wishes to pay a different amount. Perhaps the services are offered equitably but now Victoria is paying for services given to Esquimalt.

It is pointless to have the debate, at this level as to who should pay. Certainly the Police Board can debate the issue as can the city council, but to then have this level of counterproductive disputes cries out for the need to amalgamate the Cities of Victoria and Esquimalt.

Perhaps we could at least start there and then look further afield.

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