Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu told city council today (March 24) that a regional police force is not on the immediate horizon.
"I don't think we're close at all," Chu said in response to a question from COPE councillor Ellen Woodsworth.
Chu cited concerns from other mayors in the region as well as from the RCMP and municipal police forces.
Chu and deputy chief Doug LePard were in the council chamber briefing politicians and answering questions about a gang-suppression initiative called Project Rebellion.
Woodsworth said it was her understanding that Chu supported the creation of a regional police force. Chu didn't address the question directly.
Instead, he mentioned that one of the objectives should be to deploy resources on the most pressing problems, generate results, be dynamic in terms of strategy, and hold all the commanders accountable.
"The problem in the region is who is holding all the police chiefs and the different entities accountable. Who is in charge?" Chu asked.
He added that the Vancouver police prepared a "white paper" on regional policing, which was shared at a forum a year ago. "We have our opinion," Chu said, "but certainly other jurisdictions have their opinion."
In the book Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP (Key Porter Books Limited, 2008), investigative journalist Paul Palango revealed that Chu favours a regional police force, and made this clear at a February 2008 "RCMP-orchestrated forum of government, civic, and police leaders".
"Some, like Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu and [former] West Vancouver Police Chief Kash Heed argued for a regionalized service at the expense of their own high-paying jobs," Palango wrote. "Others were happy with the RCMP: 'We love our Mounties.' "