During my career with the Vancouver Police Department, I was in charge of the Internal Audit Unit. Under the direction of the Attorney-General, I also worked with multi-force audit teams to conduct INDEPENDENT Value for Money audits of police departments.
Although subject to their own internal review, RCMP detachments were and are not subject to such independent, external examinations. Without those audits, how can taxpayers know if they’re receiving value for money?
Even more important is the issue of accountability and transparency. Remember the handling of the Dziekanski tragedy. Remember the first press release. Remember the investigators sent to Poland to dig up dirt on their victim. Remember the attempt to control the video. Remember the senior management emails and the “Spin Doctoring".
Contrast that with how the VPD handled the “Stanley Park Six.” Chief Constable Jamie Graham not only answered the media’s questions, he released all of the files and held nothing back – no spinning, just the truth.
So here is my point: in the unlikely event the RCMP opened their books and savings were achieved through improved cost controls, if the Force remains accountable to Ottawa first and the community second, then our police taxes are wasted - because without direct community accountability, we have nothing more than private security.
Sir Robert Peel said it best: "Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence”.
A British Columbia Provincial Police force should meet that standard.
If the RCMP refuses to be subordinate to the Solicitor General as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the province, and be accountable through that office to the community it serves, then it’s time for a change.