Re: “Victoria seeks residents’ budget tips at information sessions,” Jan. 18.
The escalating costs of policing has convinced some municipalities to consider shutting down their local police departments in favour of contracting a larger force. At least seven Ontario police departments, some of which have been around since 1851, have recently asked the Ontario Provincial Police for cost estimates, and several others are mulling the step, including Brockville, home to the province’s oldest force.
A return to a provincial police force is likely not in the cards for B.C., as it ended up a fiasco; however, Victoria Police Department officers could be allowed to join the RCMP, and cut costs by $22 million per year — that’s $220 million over a decade. This municipality spends about $45 million on policing each year and rising, which is more than 50 per cent of its total budget.
This city will eventually realize that police spending cuts are challenging but achievable, because heritage is a mindset, not a sound business strategy.
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