For Immediate Release
Township Looks to Dismantle Langley RCMP
Langley City, BC – The Township of Langley recently voted to disintegrate the joint Langley RCMP Detachment, a shared police force that has successfully served both communities. Disintegration is a complex, multi-year process and the province makes the final decision on disintegration based on having a workable plan that takes into account the feedback from both communities.
“Disintegrating and transitioning police forces is a lengthy and costly process for communities – Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge are in year six of the disintegration process. People in Surrey have been very frustrated by years of uncertainty over the debate of policing,” said Mayor Nathan Pachal. “The City was not consulted nor provided with any detailed financial analysis that supports the claim that the City is not paying for our fair share. With approximately 1,500 RCMP vacancies throughout the province, this decision by the Township of Langley will make policing in the Langleys more complex while dismissing the benefit of a shared Langley RCMP force.”
Sharing of RCMP member strength between the City and Township of Langley has been well established since entering into an agreement in 2007 and renewed every 5 years since. The agreement is determined by a funding formula where the number of RCMP members assigned to each municipality is based on 75% criminal code cases and 25% population statistics. Mayor Pachal noted that “the Township of Langley has never approached the City to initiate discussion on changing the funding agreement.”
The City has 1 police officer for every 558 people, well below the 1 to 700 benchmark ratio (28,975 population / 51.90 members), providing a higher level of protection for the community. In 2018, the City paid for 51.54 officers and the contract strength was 51.35 whereas the Township of Langley paid for 127.48 officers and the contract strength was 139.65. In 2022, the City paid for 51.90 members and the contract strength was 51.35 whereas the Township of Langley paid for 121.44 members and the contract strength was 158.65. Therefore, the City paid for a consistent number of officers and the Township of Langley paid for less over that period.
The City recognizes that there will be financial and operational implications to both communities by severing the joint Langley RCMP. However, Langley City will have policing services that meet our needs as we work through this multi-year disintegration. The safety of Langley City residents and businesses will not be compromised at any time.
Samantha Paulson, Communications Officer
The existing contract and funding formulas include provisions/benchmarks as to how many RCMP members the Langley detachment should have, and when additional RCMP members should be requested from the RCMP. If either party believes these resources are inadequate, the contract can be reviewed and amended when considered for renewal. The Township has not asked the City to review the existing funding agreement.
The current sharing formula applies to the first 179 active members in the detachment, regardless of which municipality added members to their individual contract strength or experienced vacancies. Under the funding formula, new members would be added if there are more the 90 criminal cases per member or more than 700 people per member. If either municipality chooses to add members beyond the 179 members, that municipality pays 100% of the added cost. Over the years, the detachment has had large vacancy rates, even though RCMP members have been requested.
Currently, the detachment has a combined contract strength of 210 RCMP members. While the Township of Langley has added over 30 officers to their contract strength since 2009, these positions remain vacant due to the inability to secure new recruits, sick leave, transfers, and maternity/paternity leaves.
During 2022, the Langley Detachment operated on an average of 173 RCMP members policing both Langleys and paid for by the municipalities to the Federal government. The other 37 positions were vacant, so those positions were not paid for by either municipality.
Based on 2021 statistics, when applying the funding formula, the City should pay for 51.90 RCMP members. In 2022, the City paid the Federal Government for 42 members and then paid the Township of Langley the difference between the 42 members and the 51.90 members, resulting in a lump sum payment of $1.5 million to the Township. Effectively, no vacancies were allocated to the City which would result in a financial policing surplus for the Township of Langley. The City paid for 51.90 members of the 173 members actually working at the detachment.
Based on 2021 combined population of 167,032 people and criminal code cases of 14,096 cases, the detachment should operate based on the formula with 177 RCMP officers (167,032/700*25% + 14,096/90*75%).
The City has 1 police officer for every 558 people, well below the 1 to 700 benchmark ratio (28,975 population / 51.90 members), providing a higher level of protection for the community. For this reason, there was no need to add additional RCMP officers under the current agreement with the Township of Langley.
The following chart compares how many actual RCMP members each municipality paid for between 2018 and 2022: