Letter: I'm a retired Burnaby cop. Metrotown used to be 'ignored'


Re: Burnaby’s biggest SkyTrain station is a crime magnet, NOW Blogs

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That stop at the Metrotown Skytrain has been a crime magnet for decades, and that fact has been largely ignored by the Burnaby RCMP since the mid-90s.

How do I know that? I’m a retired member of the RCMP and, for a while, I was assigned a foot beat with my partner around the Metrotown complex. At the time, this coincided with a brand new initiative by our senior managers called “community-based policing.”

It was going to save us all. It was a new politically correct mantra that was going to ensure career stardom for some.

That initiative may have been well-intentioned, but it was designed to download certain responsibilities and costs to other entities - creating “partnerships” - thereby making our senior managers look like fiscal geniuses.

We did open a pathetic excuse for a sub-office at Station Square so that we could have members nearby. But like your article points out, the bad guys would just jump on the next SkyTrain, and they were long gone before our arrival. The sub-office was provided free of charge, so the bosses looked great.

There was a business that had moved out perpendicular to the Metrotown ramp. It was strategically positioned to potentially show a police presence in the Metrotown area.

However, it was not to be had for free. I recall the dollar amount to obtain that presence was minuscule, but our senior managers balked at the opportunity and passed.

Budgetary prowess is what senior managerial careers were based on, and these guys were going full steam ahead on “community-based policing” come hell or high water. Careers depended on this flawed initiative, yet many rose through the ranks having done nothing more that penny pinch their way to the top.

So areas like Metrotown were largely ignored, and so here we are some 30 years later, and the Metrotown Skytrain has been identified as a magnet for crime?

That’s laughable.

William W. Jost, Burnaby



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