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Langley City, Township will have to plan RCMP split, says Solicitor General

Mike Farnworth commented on the Township’s plan for two detachments
B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth was in Langley March 14 to announce a plan to target repeat offenders. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley Township and City will have to show how they will form two new RCMP detachments before the province authorizes a split in the shared force, Solicitor General and Minister for Public Safety Mike Farnworth said Wednesday, May 10.

Asked about the planned split during a press conference, Farnworth said it won’t be a quick process.

“It’s not something that happens overnight,” he said.

He also said it wasn’t that unusual.

“This is significantly different than the Surrey situation,” said Farnworth, referring to the back-and-forth political battles over whether to replace Surrey’s RCMP detachment with a civic police force. “This does happen from time to time.”

He noted the ongoing amicable division of the Ridge Meadows RCMP between Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge. In that case, Pitt Meadows, the smaller community, wants its own separate detachment.

The Langley RCMP de-integration will have to come to Ministry of Public Safety staff, Farnworth said, and there will be a range of questions to answer, such as dividing the detachment’s physical assets, and relative policing strength.

Farnworth was also asked about the opposite move – creating either a B.C. provincial police force, which hasn’t existed since 1950, or regionalization of policing, creating larger services that would cover whole areas like Metro Vancouver or southern Vancouver Island.

READ MORE: Township votes to split from shared RCMP detachment with Langley City

READ MORE: Splitting RCMP between City, Township will take many years, says Pachal

At present, the Lower Mainland is covered by a patchwork of civic police forces, in communities like Vancouver, Delta, New Westminster, and Abbotsford, while many other communities have maintained RCMP detachments, in Burnaby, Richmond, Langley, and Ridge Meadows.

Farnworth said a special committee report is being prepared and recommendations are being considered, but nothing would happen towards regionalization without extensive discussion with the municipalities. That hasn’t even begun yet, he said.

Farnworth said if regionalization were to happen, it would be complicated due to the large number of communities involved.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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