Opinion

Langley RCMP show their professionalism

The year 2012 ended on a tragic note in Langley, with a murder taking place on Dec. 31 in a basement suite in a newer home on the Willoughby slope.

However, there were some positives to come out of that tragic situation, as a letter writer who asked to have her last name withheld points out.

She was very impressed with the professionalism and courtesy of RCMP officers who were initially called to the scene, and were on hand all day and late into the night on New Year’s Eve. They took their duties to protect the crime scene and the body of the deceased very professionally. She says this shows the value of the RCMP.

Her point is a good one. The RCMP have endured a lot of criticism in the past year. Just last week, a national public opinion survey gave the force low marks on a number of fronts.

However, at the local level, Langley RCMP have provided very good service to the residents of thjs community. They are present in sufficient numbers to act as crime deterrents. Most of their members are professional and courteous in almost all situations — keeping in mind that police are called to deal with situations that most of us don’t want to have anything to do with.

The local detachment is very accountable. Both Langley councils regularly meet with Supt. Derek Cooke, and he keeps them and citizens up to date with trends in criminal activity, work the detachment is doing and hot spots that need attention. Members of council have access to the administration of the detachment almost any time for information, as they are accountable to taxpayers for local police, even though the RCMP are a federal force and are ultimately under the control of the federal government.

Langley MP Mark Warawa, who is a member of that government, also has a good working relationship with the detachment and is up-to-date on the needs within Langley.

Here at The Times, we appreciate working with the police, particularly in bringing information forward in a timely manner, so that members of the community are fully aware of it. Our main contact, media relations officer Cpl. Holly Marks, is also professional and courteous in her dealings with us.

Police at all levels say they can’t do their job effectively without support and active participation of citizens. Many Langley residents do keep police informed of activities they deem suspicious, and police respond to these tips.

Other citizens act as eyes and ears for the police through community programs, and still others are involved in victim services — a quiet but important part of policing.

Although there are two local governments, Langley RCMP serves citizens in both of municipalities, and this type of seamless, community-based and non-jurisdictional approach is an important factor in dealing with crime. Langley RCMP also have good working relationships with neighbouring police services, both RCMP and municipal.

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