Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What do you think? Would it be a good idea to increase the number of Sheriffs to have them take over some of the responsibility of traffic enforcement?


Did anyone else miss the following media release from last Thursday? I personally have to think that if we were to increase the number of BC Sheriffs, and tasked them with this duty, they actual could "... engage in traffic enforcement activities in order to modify behaviour and enhance safety ..."

I’m sure I’ll get flack on this; however I think that putting an RCMP, or city police, officer in a car with radar is a waste of resources.

Here’s the full media release from the Canadian Police Association:

Public safety, not "revenue-generating" should be focus of traffic enforcement

A proposal from the British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) to expand the BC Sheriffs' mandate to include traffic enforcement as a "revenue-generating" tool shows an unfortunate lack of understanding of the basic role of law enforcement, said British Columbia Police Association (BCPA) President Tom Stamatakis today.

"The simple fact is that Police Officers engage in traffic enforcement activities in order to modify behaviour and enhance safety; not to raise money for the government, and any suggestion otherwise by the BCGEU is misguided and frankly insulting to BC taxpayers," said Mr. Stamatakis.

The request for the outsourcing of police duties to inadequately trained employees of the provincial Sheriff's department comes as police officers in BC are already being diverted from their own regular policing duties towards the transfer of prisoners, and ensuring an adequate presence in the province's courtrooms, two key duties that the Sheriffs are currently mandated to perform.


"Front-line police officers in BC can't understand why the BCGEU is asking for additional duties, when our experience now shows they're under-resourced when it comes to performing the jobs they should be doing now," said Mr. Stamatakis. "Public safety should not be a bargaining chip when it comes to contract negotiations, and that's what the BCGEU is unfortunately trying to do in this circumstance."

Mr. Stamatakis also noted that so-called routine traffic stops are rarely actually routine, with many serious and complex criminal investigations, as well as a number of on-duty police deaths resulting from traffic enforcement operations.

"We're always looking for ways to partner with other agencies to realize efficiencies and improve public safety, but Sheriffs simply do not have the training, experience, or statutory authority to conduct this kind of work," said Mr. Stamatakis.

The 2,600-member BCPA is made up the members of the province's 11 municipal police services as well as members of the South Coast BC Transit Association Police Services.  The main aim of the BCPA is to encourage improvements in the working conditions, equipment, training and compensation of its members, and, by so doing, improve policing service to the public in B.C.'s municipalities.  Its motto and mission statement is, "To Protect Those Who Protect Others."

So … what do you think?  Would it be a good idea to increase the number of Sheriffs to have them take over some of the responsibility of traffic enforcement -- AFTER having received additional training that would be needed?  

I have to think we'd be getting a lot better value for our dollar, and it would allow RCMP, and City Police, to concentrate more on serious crimes.

I’m Alan Forseth in Kamloops, with the questions from one conservative
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