Langley Township ratifies police contract

Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese signs the new 20-year RCMP contract on Monday afternoon, as Langley RCMP Supt. Derek Cooke looks on.  - Contributed photo
Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese signs the new 20-year RCMP contract on Monday afternoon, as Langley RCMP Supt. Derek Cooke looks on.
— image credit: Contributed photo

It was more than four years in the making, and on Monday afternoon Township Mayor Jack Froese along with Langley RCMP Supt. Derek Cooke made it official, inking a new 20-year contract with the federal policing agency.

“The RCMP work very closely with us so this is great moving forward. The improvements made in this contract bring it up to the standards that we demand today,” said Froese.

With the new contract, municipalities have more say about policing costs and budgeting. And if a municipality is really unhappy with the RCMP services, there are easier ways to opt out.

“This is a partnership that helps to ensure residents . . . feel safe and protected, and enjoy an excellent quality of life.”

Froese was especially pleased that Langley’s other mayor, Peter Fassbender, was involved with the negotiations all the way through.

Cooke said he’s always worked closely with the Langleys and is happy to give his chief’s report to councils at their public meetings every quarter.

“We are happy to continue working with residents, businesses, volunteers, and elected officials to provide the best police services possible. Our members take great pride in what we do, and we look forward to reducing crime and keeping the community safe in the years ahead.”

Last month, the federal and provincial governments renewed the RCMP’s B.C. policing contract. Policing makes up the majority of each municipality’s yearly budget. RCMP costs to municipalities have skyrocketed over the years, with additional payments for specialized services like the integrated teams. While the federal government has decided to kick in some cash for integrated teams such as IHIT, municipalities are digging into their pockets again this year to pay for RCMP costs going up in Ottawa.

The RCMP has been taking a beating publicly for sometime now, starting with the Robert Dziekanski Tasering death, and currently with the Monty Robinson case and the class action lawsuit filed by female officers being sexually and verbally harassed.

B.C.’s Minister of Safety Shirley Bond said the signing of the contract will also make the RCMP more accountable for things like use of force, deployment of Tasers and other controversies the police have been criticized for.

The provincial government is setting up an independent investigative office, so police are no longer investigating police.

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