The lead article today in the Daily News on the Kamloops RCMP response to the jail sex incident must encourage our City council to seriously consider developing our own City Police Force.
The National Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP recently investigated the local RCMP detachment's handling of the jail sex scandal and found significant problems with the local detachment's handling of the affair.
The National Commissioner of the RCMP Bob Paulson agreed with the Commission's findings. It is also very significant that the Commission did its investigation after a complaint of the Vancouver Elizabeth Fry Society.
Our City is responsible for policing according to legislation and our City pays for the RCMP yet our City has very little control of the operation and conduct of our own police force. The RCMP is a federal police force fully and completely responsible to a hierarchy starting in Ottawa and going down to E Division Headquarters in Surrey, B.C.
As taxpayer I want my City council to be responsible for something as important to me as law enforcement. This is not the case in Kamloops at the moment. Presently Kamloops RCMP knows that only their RCMP superiors in Surrey and Ottawa really have any control over them.
Recent events in B.C. have shown that they really have little to fear in terms as to how they conduct themselves. They certainly do not have to concern themselves with anyone from Kamloops other than the press.
With a City police force with a chief of police chosen by our City council and an Independent Kamloops Police Commission appointed by our City council I know that the jail sex situation would have been handled quickly and appropriately by local officials responsible to me a Kamloops city voter.
Right now I have no avenue to express my concerns other than writing this letter. As a citizen-taxpayer I demand more. I ask Council to at least comment on the possibility of our own police force and encourage wide public discussion of the issue.
The time is now as the existing 20-year-contract with the RCMP has a two-year window for Kamloops to end the contract and develop its own police force. Twenty years is a long time.