11/15/2012 07:58 EST | Updated 01/15/2013 05:12 EST

Richmond RCMP Policing Contract Under Microscope

RICHMOND, B.C. - An RCMP report says the City of Richmond gets more bang for its buck by keeping the force compared to other policing services it may be considering.

Insp. Ted De Jager says the report, which was prepared by E Division, B.C.'s RCMP headquarters, was in response to the city studying other options in a bid to save money.

De Jager says the Mounties have serviced the city south of Vancouver for more than 50 years and currently have 229 members, 18 of whom report to integrated teams.

He says the cost per member is about $146,000, but figures contained in other reports being considered by Richmond are incorrect because they are based on costs billed to the city for all the officers.

De Jager says the non-unionized RCMP saves money by having only one member per patrol car, for example, compared to two officers working for independent forces in most large municipalities as part of their collective agreements.

Justice Minister Shirley Bond says she's not surprised Richmond is considering other options after joining several municipalities in signing a 20-year contract with the RCMP earlier this year, although she says the city should thoroughly analyze the cost implications of changing policing services.

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