It's not a new idea, but it's one that's floating around with increasing regularity: would the Lower Mainland be better served by a regional police force?
As it stands today, a half dozen cities have their own independent departments - New Westminster for example. The rest, including Burnaby, are served by RCMP detachments.
The disconnect between these various bodies was just one of many points raised in Wally Oppal's report on the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in December. Vancouver police chief Jim Chu brought the question back to the front pages this week with a response to Oppal's report in which he backed the concept of a Greater Vancouver force.
To many, it's a black-and-white question, with just one solution: you either come together as one force covering the entire zone, or you leave things as they are, with different approaches in different cities.
In truth, there's a spectrum of possibilities: how about one force for north of the Fraser and one for south of it? Or, three forces running from west to east; and the third taking the Fraser Valley portion up to Hope?
Alternatively, why not leave the departments as they stand now but create sub-units specifically aimed at creating collaboration - like the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team - in which police members from different areas could come together across city lines to work on common projects and efforts?
The only solution that should be dismissed outright is the one currently in place: ignore the debate till it goes away.
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