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Study cites high costs to switch from RCMP to municipal police force

By Tara Clow Oct 6, 2023 | 2:12 PM

A policing study report suggests Greater Moncton should stick with the RCMP.

The study was launched two years ago by Perivale + Taylor and Cornerstone Consulting.

One of the recommendations revealed savings with the RCMP force when compared to going with a municipal force.

Vice-president Robert Taylor estimates sticking with the Mounties would save $132 million over 15 years.

“Contracted policing with cost sharing with Canada is not as expensive as independent policing supported 100 per cent by the municipality,” Taylor council Moncton councillors on Thursday.

The study also found the cost of a transition from the RCMP to a municipal police force would be over $73.5 million.

“The agreement between the province and Canada for province policing provides a 30 per cent cost share, which is a significant proportion. That’s provincial policing, however, that trickles through the entire system because many of the specialized services are from the provincial police. Added to this of course in Codiac, there’s a 10 per cent cost share with Canada that further reduces costs,” Taylor adds.

The report also stated that staffing a municipal police force would be a significant issue.

For example, a municipal force would need to hire an estimated 20 to 30 additional staff to replace the specialized functions that the RCMP currently offer.

“That would be a mixture of specialized non-police staff and police officers. It’s a complicated business. It’s a significant problem to hire a large number of staff in a short period of time, and one has to hire a wide range of staff with skills, abilities and experience. This is a challenge, to try and hire a number of staff over a fixed point or over a period of time.  So it’s a risk, not impossible, but it is a risk,” Taylor stated.

He adds that trying to hire 150 to 180 people with the range of skills needed, including bilingualism, and having to do that in a limited time presents a higher risk to the municipality, especially at a time when organizations seem to be short-staffed.

Coun. Bryan Butler, who formerly worked as a city police officer and an RCMP officer, questioned some of the numbers and statements in the report.

“My three As are adequate, affordable and accountable, I’ve put a ‘no’ beside each of them. Working with both, I kind of know how they both work, and there are pros and cons to both,” said Butler.

“I agree it’s going to cost more. Absolutely, because you’re gonna lose that 10 per cent off the bat. I’m not disputing anything you’ve got in this report, I’m just going from what I have done in my career. I am really disappointed when you go outside this country and go to England and you go to Washington state. To compare us with England or the United States, I would think that it’d be more Saint John or Halifax.”

Coun. Charles Leger also asked whether the study looked at community connection and transparency of the RCMP.

“How do you get greater transparency when you are working with an organization that has no obligation to report back on its operations or what they do and all of those things,” said Leger.

Mayor Dawn Arnold felt the report was exactly what the council needed to give them the direction for going forward.

The list of recommendations in the report:

  1. The Tri-Community should retain the current RCMP Codiac Regional Police model
  2. The Tri-Community should request the CRP Authority to make RCMP annual police workload analyses a priority under Article 6.1 of the Codiac Regional Police Service Agreement
  3. Staffing decisions should be based on business cases from workload analyses
    1. Improvements to data collection and processing will be required
  4. The Tri-Community should request the Authority
    1. establish a community feedback process on public safety and policing matters
    2. provide greater transparency and consultation with the Tri-Community Councils
  5. The Tri-Community should encourage and support any initiatives by the Authority in
    integration and partnerships with other service providers in addressing social disorder
    challenges complementing the mental health related Recommendations of the Mass
    Casualty Report 46
  6. The Tri-Community should support the Authority in:
    1. ensuring persons appointed to the Authority are suitably prepared to exercise
      their responsibilities on behalf of their municipality and the Tri-Community
    2. establishing appropriate renumeration for the chair and specific members
    3. establishing an Executive Director position, reporting to the Chair, to manage
      administrative functions