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Task Force on Municipal Policing Costs in British Columbia Preliminary Report for Discussion Purposes

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Date Published
This report presents findings and recommendations from an examination of the policing costs in British Columbia, emphasizing sources of funding, cost sharing alternatives, and suggested policy options.
In British Columbia, policing is financed in four different ways by one or more of the three levels of government. Five alternatives for equalizing the distribution of policing costs, are described. Under the first option, all municipal policing expenditures would be paid for by the province, with specified exceptions. Funding would be generated from present or newly created provincial sources and from taxes. Under the second option, a grant would be given by the province to municipalities with their own police force using both populations and total value of property as bases. The third alternative would involve the payment of one of three types of grants, based on the population of the municipality. Under the fourth option, property owners and citizens would contribute directly to the cost of police protection, and cost sharing formulae would be developed based on ability to pay. The final possibility is that all municipalities responsible for policing would be reimbursed by the province for 50 percent of eligible police costs in excess of 6 mills. Additional recommendations focus on the special problems of reporting; policing of trading centers and core cities, provincial parks, Indian reserves, and provincial highways; and prisons. Sheriff services, use of civilians, court overtime, handling the inebriated, and purchasing are also addressed. Extensive tabular data are included; footnotes and 24 documents are appended.