Patchwork policing leaves no one in charge
Gary Mason in the Globe and Mail has a neat quotation from an unnamed police chief
“If you were to design a policing structure for the region, would you design one like ours? Not in a million years.”
I have been advocating a metropolitan police force for Greater Vancouver on this blog for some time. This most recent thought has been spurred not so much by the recent spate of gang killings as the provincial government’s hastily thought out “strategy” for dealing with it.
But here’s the question that no one seemed to address at the Premier’s news conference on Friday: Who’s in charge of eradicating gang violence in Metro Vancouver?
It’s a question put to me by a Metro Vancouver police chief last week. I didn’t know the answer.
“No one,” he said.
You can’t have a successful strategy for anything without someone in charge. And in this case, there’s no one responsible because of the patchwork nature of policing in Metro Vancouver.
My point would be that it is not just for dealing with gangs that we need a co-ordinated policing system. It is every aspect of policing. The only people who advocate for the present system are the mayors who like the idea of having a police chief report to them and not some remote regional authority. But we can no longer afford this small town mentality.
Anymore than we can afford the arrogance and incompetence that has characterised the RCMP in recent years, and is now on daily display. If the Premier had actually been giving this issue any thought at all in the last couple of years – and there have been plenty of reasons why he should have – he would have seen that the need for change is inescapable. A provincial force for BC and metropolitan police forces for the Vancouver and Capital regions would be my first choice.