Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We need a Police Department for All

The Times Colonist editorial of September 20, 2011 says that the correct decision for the provincial government to make is to require Esquimalt to continue a contract for Policing with the City of Victoria and not allow them to switch to the RCMP.

Brilliant, but really, does the province not see that the mere fact they have to look at this issue is reflective of a fundamental flaw in the governance of our Capital?

What the Province should do is say thank you to Esquimalt. This issue is reflective of what will be an ongoing problem, as it will certainly arise again. No matter the answer, Esquimalt may one day say we would like to go with Saanich, or back to Victoria, or whatever.

There should be no choice beyond improving their own, regional police force.

How is it that we have a regional water system and not a regional police force?

We all have the same concerns over water and safety. No area can say they have a different level of overall concern for policing than any other area.

We all want safe drinking water, delivered to us at a reasonable price.

If that water is maliciously tainted, we all want the perpetrators brought to justice and punished in a coordinated and effective manner. Right now we would have to sort out first where the water was tainted, then where the people who did it lived, and then perhaps where the water went. Sounds like another joint committee of policing.

I really do not want to entrust the safety of my family to a committee, which reports to 13 different governments, and has no clear leadership.

Of all the issues that municipal governments deal with, policing is one of the most important. For policing to be effective, good leadership is critical. I will assume this based on the fact that for a few thousand years now human society has clearly implemented a leadership based police/military structure, which while not always perfect, seems to get the job done.

So why are we denied the benefits of a cohesive group of men and women, sworn to protect us no matter where we are in the community?

The province should make a decision and that must be to at least unify the core police departments.

For the record, I live in Saanich; have an office in Victoria, another in Langford and a business in Esquimalt. Some days I am in all four locations. They are all serviced by the same alarm company. They use to be “protected” by 4, now 3 different police departments. If the alarm company can deal with the whole area why can’t the police?

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