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RCMP good deal for Township, report states

Langley Township residents are getting a good deal on law enforcement from the Mounties, according to a report presented to council.

The survey of policing costs was generated in response to questions at a special meeting of Township Council for budget purposes on Nov. 22, where staff were asked to estimate the average cost per RCMP member over the last five years.

For Langley Township, the amount works out to $194 for each resident, the same as Surrey.

That’s slightly below the $196 per capita average cost of most RCMP detachments in B.C. the report states.

Residents of smaller Langley City pay more, $304, the report said.

The average expense of RCMP detachments is generally lower than the cost of communities with their own municipal police forces, which average $274 per resident, according to the Township report.

However, those figures have been challenged by municipal police departments in B.C., who complain that the cost estimates for RCMP detachments are calculated unfairly.

Last year, the Delta Police board issued a report that said when the RCMP reports costs they don’t include civilian support staff, police vehicles and building expenses, while municipalities like Delta follow “current accounting practices” and add those items in.

If the municipal figures are adjusted to match the RCMP approach, the Mounties’ advantage disappears, the report says.

In Delta, the change meant the cost of policing drops from $265 per resident to $197, the same amount White Rock residents pay for RCMP and only three dollars more than the $194 Surrey residents pay.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, the chair of the municipal police board, said those figures also don’t account for the portion of federal income taxes paid by Delta residents which go to fund the RCMP.

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