Re: “Unified policing will meet our needs,” Dec. 21.
I wouldn’t hang my hat on this concept. To centralize or decentralize without losing the benefits of either has been debated forever.
There is a misconception that centralization automatically equals efficiency. Police forces, amalgamated or otherwise, like many other bureaucracies, are governed by the priorities of their leaders. In the past, these priorities have not always been the best policy for protecting the public.
Victoria and Vancouver residents have often complained too many police are assigned to the downtown core to cope with the complexities of people living on the street and other issues, instead of providing service to communities.
Oak Bay, referred to by the writer, in all likelihood would have far less police presence and local benefits under amalgamation than it has with its own police department.
I guarantee police unification is not the answer; however, there are solutions that I am aware of that have not been suggested or tried.
Funding and development of much better communication systems, co-operation and liaison of public services and improved know-how and effectiveness would go a long way to prevent tragedies such as the Willy Pickton case.
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