Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment of the RCMP in Chilliwack. (Chilliwack Progress file)

Chilliwack city council advocates retention of the RCMP in B.C.

Council not in support of creating a provincial police force to replace RCMP at this point

Chilliwack city council does not support the creation of a provincial police force to replace the RCMP in B.C.

The idea for a provincial police agency is a recommendation that came out of the ‘Transforming Policing and Community Safety in British Columbia’ report, released last month from the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act.

Council voted Tuesday to send a letter publicly advocating its support of the RCMP, specifically the Upper Fraser Valley detachment.

“The City of Chilliwack has an excellent relationship with our local RCMP,” noted Mayor Ken Popove the city’s release May 6.

“We are in regular communication with our officer-in-charge, Superintendent Davy Lee, and city staff and RCMP members work collaboratively on a regular basis, including having an RCMP member assigned full-time to our emergency operations centre during the November and December storm events last year.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack unveils community safety plan

Chilliwack’s Community Safety Plan, based on feedback from the Integrated Community Safety Task Force, identified that community safety extends beyond the reach of the RCMP. To ensure all residents are safe, feel safe, and have a sense of belonging, the plan highlights that creating a safe community requires the efforts of many organizations.

In Chilliwack and across B.C., there is a distinct need for provincial and federal agencies to play an active role in prevention, health care, social services, sentencing, and more, the mayor said.

“We cannot expect the RCMP to try to police away urgent social and health care issues,” said Mayor Popove. “We need the provincial government to step up and support the mental and physical health needs of British Columbians.”

Through Chilliwack’s Community Safety Plan, the City of Chilliwack will continue to advocate for positive changes from all levels of government and ask that multiple agencies come together to address community safety concerns.

RELATED: Chipping away at safety plan implementation

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