Craig Hodge - Policing challenges and Solutions in the Tri Cities

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Craig Hodge - Policing challenges and Solutions in the Tri Cities

Patrick McCarthy of TCCTV is joined by Coquitlam City Councillor Craig Hodge for an update on Coquitlam. Craig says the City did a good job handling the COVID situation and is looking forward to things getting back to normal.

Craig serves on the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and through that on a number of province-wide safety committees including the UBCM Community Safety Committee. He co-chairs the Contract Management Committee for the RCMP for British Columbia which is significant because the RCMP recently formed a Union and negotiated their first contract.

Craig also co-chairs the all-party Local Government Roundtable Committee reviewing the Police Act reform, which has come up with eleven recommendations to reform the act. Although the RCMP are Federal employees, municipalities have a big role in policing including managing costs which can make up 40% of a municipality’s budget. Craig raises the question of how to most effectively use RCMP officers and whether or not it is appropriate to have RCMP responding to mental health calls.

Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam share an RCMP detachment and have a joint task force to identify interests of both communities. While Port Coquitlam has had some shootings and higher-violence crime, Craig says Coquitlam is statistically one of the safest communities in BC, despite seeing some gang activity, exploitation and traffic issues. Craig stresses the importance of having a visible and prepared police force and uses the example of lack of crime due to police presence around the new sky-train stations.

Craig would like to see the ‘auxillary’ volunteer program reinstated. Currently, Coquitlam residents can volunteer in programs such as Speed Watch or at Community Police Stations, but not work directly on patrol with police officers.

Police officers are under increased pressure due to pandemic frustration, wildfires, atmospheric rivers, and events that have occurred in the US. They are given the physical tools to do their job, but we also must look after them as individuals.

Coquitlam RCMP can draw on resources from across Canada including integrated teams such as homicide, dog squad, traffic enforcement, and investigative units. Training and infrastructure are provided nationally. Separation between local government and RCMP reduces risk of political interference. Craig says Coquitlam residents are well-served by the RCMP.

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Video Upload Date: July 29, 2022

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