RCMP detachment to be built in Pitt Meadows despite some disagreement

The mayor shared that the space assigned for the RCMP detachment was used by B.C. Police operations in 1914 and therefore, holds ‘historical significance’ for the detachment

The provincial government has approved an RCMP detachment for Pitt Meadows, allowing the city autonomy from Maple Ridge police services, according to Friday’s announcement from the City of Pitt Meadows.

A dedicated team of police officers and a separate facility will result in better response times and enhance public safety, according to Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall.

“This favourable decision by the province means our residents will have enhanced police visibility, improved public safety, faster police response and the ability to achieve a policing model tailored to Pitt Meadows,” he said in a statement.

However, residents like Darlene Mercer have been opposed to the idea of the detachment, keeping in mind the extensive expenditure, loss of parkland and relocation of Pitt Meadows Art Gallery, a central space for the community.

In an email today, Mercer shared her thoughts on the recent development update with the media and the city.

“The many residents of Pitt Meadows who signed, and are signing the e-petition against the autonomous Detachment, as well as the development of parkland into an RCMP Detachment are disappointed but not surprised by council bulldozing ahead with this. Complete with a rather thumbing of the nose to the arts community by having the big ribbon-cutting ceremony next to the ill-fated PMAG, lovingly restored by volunteers,” she wrote.

Mayor Dingwall shared that the space assigned for the detachment was used by B.C. Police operations in 1914 and therefore, holds ‘historical significance’ for the detachment.

In September, we spoke to Mercer about the development and she explained the repercussions of the facility.

Mercer explained that the cost for such a facility would cost anything upward of $18.5 million, as projected by the city. Similar detachment projects in nearby cities have taken up to $38 million and “raise taxes” as it will take decades to pay off the borrowed funds.

However, Mark Roberts, the city’s chief administrative officer, assured residents there will not be a property tax increase while achieving superior services and higher return on investment, although an estimated figure was not shared.

Mercer shared with us that although an RCMP policy stipulates a detachment is not built within a certain distance of daycare, this detachment will be next to a family park, where children of all ages are present daily for various activities.

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