Thursday, June 18, 2020

June 15 Council Meeting: RCMP 2021 Budget in Principle Approved. ICBC says no to “Lock Out Auto Crime” Signs.

As I posted about previously, Langley City council reviewed the municipality's 2019 audited financial statements. These financial statements are incorporated into the 2019-23 Financial Plan and pending 2019 Annual Report. Anyone can provide feedback about these financial statements, and people were given the opportunity to provide feedback to council via email or letter. Council did not receive any feedback from the public.

Council gave final reading to the amended 2019-23 Financial Plan, including the audited financial statements.

Because 10% of the RCMP costs in our municipality are funding by the federal government, Langley City council must agree to an “approval in principle” of their 2021 budget to support the federal government’s budgeting process. The actual approval takes place during the city’s budget process in early 2021.

The funding of policing in Langley City is based on multiple funding formulas. As we share a detachment with the Township of Langley, we have a formula that determines how the RCMP detachment costs are shared. There are currently 51.35 RCMP members assigned to Langley City, and that number is proposed to remain the same in 2021.

There is another funding formula in place for the specialized policing services that are regionalized and cost-shared with the provincial government. Examples of these regionalized services include homicide investigation, emergency response, forensics, police dogs, auto crash reconstruction, and other intelligence services.

Langley City council’s only control of policing costs is setting the number of RCMP members for our community.

With no change in the number of RCMP members assigned to Langley City, the proposed 2021 budget will be increasing by $432,100 to $10.4 million.

The following is the breakdown of policing costs at a high level, comparing the 2020 budget to the proposed 2021 budget.

2020 2021
Salary $5.6m $5.7m
Benefits and Admin Costs $3.1m $3.1m
Training and Equipment $1.0m $1.3m
Regionalized Services $1.3m $1.3m

The largest percent increase in the budget is due to the proposed purchasing of new vehicles in 2021. I asked if the City was aware of this large increase. I was told by City staff that this was part of the RCMP’s 5-year capital plan.

Council approved the 2021 RCMP policing budget in principle.

Council also acknowledged the receipt of $475,823 in traffic fine revenue from the province.

On another note, Langley City’s Crime Prevention Task Group piloted installing plastic “Lock Out Auto Crime” signs near Linwood Park to see if it would help reduce theft from auto. These signs were vandalized.

The task group ask that the City council consider installing metal signs. City staff recommended against this due to “sign pollution” and the fact that ICBC would not partner in providing funding for these metal signs. As a result, this pilot program will not be moving forward.

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