Cranbrook councillor heads to UBCM championing two-tiered policing

Sharon Cross hopes to see the motion succeed to open the door for the province to look at a new model.

A motion that could see a two-tiered policing system put in place in the province will go before the Union of British Columbia Municipalities at a meeting this week.

Coun. Sharon Cross first put forward the motion in council and was headed to the meeting in Vancouver, which goes from Sept. 16 – 20.

Cross said she put forth the motion as policing costs all over B.C. are rising.

“With the new 20-year agreement (with the RCMP), the cost to municipalities is going to continue to rise and we felt that we needed to do something different in terms of looking at policing models,” Cross said.

She alluded to Alberta, which has the Peace Officer Act.

“What they really have is a two-tier policing system,” she said. “The RCMP deal with major crimes: drugs, guns and gangs.

“That allows the peace officers to deal with other provincial and municipal acts such as traffic safety issues, community engagement around youth, community outreach programs and bylaws.”

Cross said when Alberta implemented the Act, Okotoks hired four peace officers to start. The officers worked directly with the RCMP in the same building.

“Okotoks realized a tremendous cost savings, to the point where the peace officers were self-supported through all the ticketing and things they engaged in,” she said. “It really offset the municipal costs of policing.”

She said she hopes to see the motion succeed to open the door for the province to look at a new model.

There is the draft B.C. Policing and Safety Plan, which suggests looking at more special provincial constables, auxiliary bylaw officers and private security.

“However, the special provincial constables would be provincial employees and not municipal employees,” she said. “What we want is to have more responsibility and accountability for our policing. Under our current arrangement municipalities don’t have that.”

The motion has been approved by Cranbrook City Council and the AKBLG.

At the moment, municipalities pay the RCMP, but Cross said the ticketing is shared with the province.

“We already hire them, so why doesn’t the municipality just take that over with the second tier?” she said. “In Cranbrook we don’t have a full contingent and that’s kind of been the case for a while. So we kind of pay the overhead costs but are not getting the full benefits.”

She said this would free up the RCMP to pursue major crimes.

“It’s a major issue all over B.C.” she said.

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read