After meeting with the officer in charge of the Langley RCMP detachment, Langley City councillors agreed to give approval in principle to boosting the number of Mounties serving the City by six, a measure that would add $1.3 million to the municipal budget, increasing the number of funded officers to the equivalent of 61 and raising policing costs to $14 million.
While details of the discussion with Supt. Adrian Marsden were not gone into at the Monday, June 27 meeting where approval was given, it appeared council was reassured that they would not be making a binding commitment to the funding increase.
Councillor Nathan Pachal, who had convinced a majority of council to postpone their decision until they could meet with Marsden, said his understanding was “there will be a further opportunity to discuss staffing in the fall.”
Deputy mayor Rudy Storteboom said it was not a “commitment as much as it is a proposal for consideration in the future,” adding, “we are not bound by this.”
Chief Administrative Officer Francis Cheung said the RCMP would be coming before council to make a business case for the increase when budget planning gets underway.
“Council will have the opportunity to deliberate the proposal by Supt. Marsden in the fall,” Cheung advised.
Council was put in the position of considering a budget proposal that they won’t be deciding for quite some time because of two reasons — one being a money-saving federal government policy that kicks in 10 per cent of a municipal police budget when a community is served by the RCMP — the other being a federal budget cycle that is out of sync with the City.
Since the federal government wants to know how much it should budget for the 10 per cent top-up, it had the RCMP ask for approval in principle, well in advance of an an actual budget decision by the municipality.
Coun. Paul Albrecht described it as: “this is approval in principle. Our budget cycles [federal and municipal] are on different calendars, so to speak.”
The vote on approval in principle was unanimous, with Mayor Val van den Broek and Coun. Teri James absent.
In total, Langley RCMP want to add 12 officers to the joint force that serves Langley City and Township, six funded by the City, and six by the Township.
Langley Advance Times has reached out to Langley Township for a response.
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