Langley City Coun. Nathan Pachal won support from council colleagues for a third report on police overtime being used to pay for tickets to mayor Val van den Broek’s 2020 gala, and for a review of police that includes a look at an independent police service for Langley (files)

Langley City Coun. Nathan Pachal won support from council colleagues for a third report on police overtime being used to pay for tickets to mayor Val van den Broek’s 2020 gala, and for a review of police that includes a look at an independent police service for Langley (files)

VIDEO: Langley City Council orders third report on mayor’s gala along with a review of policing

Is it time for Langley to have an independent police service?

Langley City Council has ordered a third report on the use of RCMP overtime to help cover the cost of tickets for Mayor Val van den Broek’s Jan. 25, 2020 gala fundraiser.

At the same time, the councillors signalled they want to review the current relationship with the Mounties, by looking into options that could include creating an independent Langley police service.

Both measures were approved following a sometimes-heated debate over the second report on the issue, presented to council on Monday, April 26. It said assistant RCMP commissioner Maureen Levy had confirmed one officer who attended the event had worked four hours overtime, at the suggestion of the officer-in-charge, to help cover the cost of buying tickets.

Levy said a “thorough review” showed $361.44 in overtime was charged to the City of Langley after the gala.

READ ALSO: One officer worked 4 hours overtime to cover tickets to Langley City mayor’s gala: report

Several members of council were skeptical, pointing to the first report by Paul Gill, the former Maple Ridge general manager of finance and corporate services, which said 35 Langley RCMP members attended the event and 19 of them came with spouses or guests, buying 54 tickets for a total value of $8,100.

Coun. Nathan Pachal proposed a report by staff answering four questions, including how much of the gala overtime costs were worked by Township of Langley RCMP officers.

“Why are there significant discrepancies between the Gill report and RCMP report on taxpayer costs, $8,100 compared to $361.44?” Pachal asked.

“Why did it take over one year to receive a response from the RCMP [and] why was the former officer-in-charge of the Langley detachment, Superintendent Murray Power, reassigned?”

Power was moved out of the Langley detachment without explanation after news of the overtime offer by Power to senior officers surfaced.

Coun. Teri James wanted to know who paid for the other tickets.

“There’s still $7,800 missing,” James said.

“Does that get billed to the Township?” James asked.

Coun. Gayle Martin called the Levy response “laughable.”

“What I see, is the ‘thin red line’ here protecting the RCMP,” Martin fumed.

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” Martin commented.

Coun. Paul Albrecht said the RCMP were playing a “shell game” to hide the expenses.

“The numbers don’t add up,” Albrecht argued.

Van den Broek defended the gala, which raised $56,000 for the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation to buy equipment to detect ovarian and breast cancer, saying “the good that we have done with the gala has a lasting result.”

As for the overtime, van den Broek maintained she was “quite confident” that any overtime worked was for legitimate police purposes and the Council-ordered reports looking into the event represented “unnecessary and significant costs” to the City.

“There is no missing money,” van den Broek insisted, telling council they need to “let it go and move on.”

“We [council] are not operating as an effective, collective body,” van den Broek went to say.

“We have to start focusing on city business, rather than each other.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley City mayor and some members of council clash over Delta letter

Martin disputed the mayor’s comments, saying “this isn’t picking on you, this is standing up for the taxpayers.”

Coun. Rudy Storteboom said the whole matter had become “kind of embarrassing” but another review was warranted.

“Maybe some people got upset because it was kind of a victory lap for the mayor,” Storteboom observed, adding “I’m okay with that.”

Albrecht also called it embarrassing, saying he took no pleasure in the process, but “there is wrongdoing and misspending.”

Pachal’s call for a third report on the gala was approved by a vote of council, as was a second Pachal motion that opened the door for a look into an independent Langley police department.

Staff were told to include a “review of the policing service model for Langley City” in the 2022 budget.

Pachal, chair of the City crime prevention task group, said he had no issues with the individual RCMP officers working in Langley City.

“This is about the system,” Pachal said.

“We’re asking questions about finances and not getting answers.”

Pachal said the review should cover several possibilities, including operating a separate RCMP detachment rather than the current shared model with the Township, and even leaving the RCMP to establish an independent police service, either shared with the Township or City-only.

Coun. Rosemary Wallace said she was “so for” the proposal, noting that other communities are also reexamining their policing systems.

“We are not the only municipality looking at this,” Wallace noted.

Is there more to the story? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Langley CityLangley RCMPmunicipal politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley is home to a wide range of outstanding athletes, ranging from cycling champion Svein Tuft to MMA fighter Tristan Connelly and figure skating legend Karen Magnussen (files)
Making a list of Langley’s outstanding athletes

Website organizer is looking for suggestions

On hand for the presentation of a cheque to the Langley Food Bank was Jim Calamunce, executive director of the food bank (L), Langley City councillor Rudy Storteboom (centre) and Mike Partridge, manager of the South Langley IGA. (R) (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Shoppers at Langley IGA stores donate $10K to food bank

Customers showed ‘incredible generosity’ says store spokesperson

When they heard about the vandalism at the outdoor school in Williams Park, students at R.E.Mountain school created a replacement for the outdoor mud kitchen. Because of continuing thefts and vandalism at the outdoor school, the play kitchen is being stored indoors after hours. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley students craft a new ‘mud kitchen’ to replace one vandalized at outdoor school

It isn’t being left outdoor after hours due to continuing problems with vandalism and theft

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Langley man advocates for debate not hate over differences of opinion

People fear being attacked personally for expressing differing opinions, writer says

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
IHIT investigating after man killed in Burnaby shooting

Police looking for more information on fatal shooting

Most Read