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Mayor's Update on the Meeting with Minister of Justice & Attorney General

Dec 11, 2014

At the December 8, 2014 Regular Council Meeting, Mayor Lois E. Jackson provided the following update on a recent meeting in Victoria with The Honourable Susan Anton, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Delta CAO George V. Harvie, to discuss Delta’s concerns regarding changes to the Police Act, which the Minister introduced to the legislature on October 23, 2014:

“Delta does not support the proposed changes to the Police Act because they include possible mandatory participation of our Delta Police force in integrated regional policing units such as the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, also known as IHIT. There are also significant costs associated with Delta joining IHIT, which are estimated to be between $800,000 and $1 million annually.

At the meeting, I expressed Delta’s concerns regarding the Provincial government’s authority to expand integrated policing teams such as IHIT, and the Province’s authority to impose a duty on municipalities for these specialized policing services.

From Delta’s perspective, we do not support mandatory participation in IHIT nor any type of levy for this service. Based on our experience and research on integrated policing teams, this type of model typically creates both winners and losers. Meaning, some communities benefit to the detriment of others, with Delta likely being a community that loses in terms of the significant annual investment required. Key concerns regarding Delta’s mandatory participation in IHIT that we discussed with the Minister include:

  • an increase in public safety costs, with the estimated annual cost being nearly a million dollars for Delta to join IHIT;
  • the allocation of a lower number of sworn officers to our community; and
  • concerns that a regionalized model will likely result in no change in crime rates and higher workloads for sworn officers.

Given the current success of Delta’s community-based policing with our “no call too small” model, consistently low and decreasing crime rates and Delta’s high ranking as a safe community, we want to continue moving forward with our community-based policing model that is clearly successful and working in this community.

We did assure Minister Anton that Delta is fully committed to cooperating and collaborating with other Lower Mainland police agencies to solve crimes and provide assistance to other agencies whenever it is needed.

But policing in Delta is working. We have an enviable record of solving crimes and providing a high level of public safety and this has all been achieved efficiently within Delta’s own budget.

I’m pleased to report that our meeting was very productive. Minister Anton was extremely receptive to our concerns and assured me and Mr. Harvie that Delta will not be forced to participate in IHIT.

I also want to recognize our Delta North MLA Scott Hamilton, who assisted us in expediting a meeting with Minister Anton. Thank you Scott for your collaboration and assistance, we truly appreciate it.

We also appreciate Minister Anton taking the time to meet with us, listen to Delta’s concerns and provide us with the assurance we sought. We are pleased with the outcome of this meeting, as we want to be able to retain control over both our public safety budget and our community-based policing and public safety models that have a strong record to date. As always, we will continue to update you with any new information regarding this legislation and public safety.”

— Mayor Lois E. Jackson