Richmond paying more for integrated police services

When it comes to value for dollar, Richmond is paying out more than it receives in services from the RCMP’s five specialized integrated teams, according to a recently-prepared city staff report.

And while Richmond is on the short end of the stick, Surrey is comparatively getting great value, the report states.

Last month, Richmond city council’s community safety committee requested staff to analyze the RCMP’s integrated team annual report which was received at the end of August.

City staff’s analysis was slated to be received for information at Wednesday afternoon’s community safety committee.

The report details the cost of funding the five specialized integrated teams: Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, Integrated Forensic Identification Services, Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service, Integrated Police Dog Services and Emergency Response.

Richmond’s expenditure for the teams has grown from $2.69 million in 2008/09 to $3.35 million in 2011/12, and is expected to jump another 11 per cent to $3.72 million for the 2012/13 year.

In a comparison of major cities over the past two years (Burnaby, North Vancouver, Richmond and Surrey), Richmond paid out $6.34 million between 2010/11 and 2011/12, but received just $5.09 million in services, a shortfall of $1.25 million.

Surrey, meanwhile, paid out $19.46 million while it received $24.85 million in services, meaning Surrey received a discount of $5.39 million.

Joan Clarke, manager of finance community safety for the City of Richmond, wrote  in the report: “Over the past three years, on average, the city has paid $371,431 annually more for the integrated teams than the value of the services received and thus, future annual monitoring will take place.”

Clarke noted that during the recent contract renewal negotiations with the RCMP, the city requested that the province fund the integrated teams 100 per cent. Currently, the homicide team is funded on a 70:30 basis between cities and the province, with all other teams being 90:10 between cities and Ottawa.

“Staff will continue to examine, based on historical usage, whether the existing cost sharing formula with other municipalities is equitable,” Clarke wrote.

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