Taxpayer Logo

Official site of the
CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION
a citizens advocacy group dedicated to lower taxes,
less waste and accountable government.

[$description:substr(start="0",length="10")]
[$description:striptags():escape():substr(start='0',length='150')]
[$description:striptags():escape():substr(start="0",length="150")]

BC: Transit Police Seconded Out to Other Forces

July 11, 2012
BC: Transit Police Seconded Out to Other Forces

Taxpayers livid about high gas taxes, poor transit service and impending fees at park and ride lots will no doubt be dismayed to learn that their TransLink dollars are going to pay for Transit Police to work at the Vancouver and New Westminster police departments.

While buses go mostly unpatrolled by the $27 million transit police force due to “funding limitations,” 11 Transit Police officers, most paid by TransLink, have been seconded to instead work at other police agencies, according to Freedom of Information documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

So, where are these “transit police” officers working, if not on the transit system?

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) has hosted two officers—one for a full year as part of the Stanley Cup riot review and one for four months on the VPD Sex Crimes Unit. New Westminster also had a Transit Police officer work for four months on its major crimes unit. This means taxpayers in TransLink’s 20 other municipalities are subsidizing policing in Vancouver and New Westminster.

Other seconded officers went to regional units like PRIME (24 months), the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (19 months) and the Integrated Security Unit (7 months).

Three Transit Police officers have been seconded to the Integrated Gang Task Force (IGTF) for a total of more than four years, with one of the positions paid by the IGTF. Logic dictates that there aren’t a lot of gang members riding B-line buses, and the recent Transit Police audit backs that suspicion: “The Project Team did not see any evidence that the non-recoverable IGTF secondment led to any direct operational or investigative benefits for Transit Police.”

Another Transit Police officer worked for two years with the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT). TransLink taxpayers received very little value for this secondment, as the audit revealed: “The track record of IMPACT at Park and Ride locations has been described as lacking.” The same audit found that one car theft occurs every 17 hours at TransLink’s four biggest Park and Ride lots.

When an Edmonton review suggested last year that Lower Mainland Transit Police officers were bored because, “transit crime and disorder work is not that interesting,” Transit Police Chief Neil Dubord ripped the report as “anecdotal [and] far from authoritative.”

But the pattern of secondments and the recent audit prove the Edmonton review was correct. “The need to provide development opportunities and challenges to frontline Transit Police members was a recurring theme during the interview stage,” said the audit, which suggested personnel exchanges with jurisdictional police forces—although why a stint with the Transit Police would be attractive to a municipal or RCMP member isn’t explored.

These secondments are even more frustrating when one considers that the Transit Police eliminated both a graffiti coordinator and the Transit Centre Liaison Officer program which worked directly with the bus operators. There is enough money to send officers to help out in Vancouver, but not properly police buses?

The expensive Transit Police are a luxury taxpayers cannot afford. Duplicating the work of local police and transit security doesn’t make sense. With fare gates about to eliminate two-thirds of Transit Police officers’ workload, it’s time to rethink this failed experiment and look for cheaper, just-as-effective models of policing our transit system.

By
on July 11, 2012
I don't understand what the issue is with taxpayers funding this secondment. I may be incorrect, but I remember hearing that many of the alleged rioters are from municipalities outside of Vancouver. I live in the city of Surrey and I don't feel that the tax burden of investigating those responsible for the destruction caused should be held only by those living in Vancouver. I also understand that the purpose of secondments is to provide a training opportunity for members of the transit police to become better at investigating crimes on the transit system. As a transit user and taxpayer, I am more than happy to contribute to this cause.

You have successfully posted your comment. Please allow 24 hours for your comment to be reviewed before being published to the site.

By
on July 16, 2012
Then how come other municipal forces and the RCMP aren't joining in to help VPD investigate the riot? The riot investigation aside, what's the justification for the other secondments? Are you telling me that the Transit Police benefit from having members investigating gang crimes and auto theft? I think not. I too am a taxpayer in the City of Surrey, and I am tired of paying for the Surrey RCMP to investigate crimes that happen on Transit. Why am I paying for VPD to have extra officers? What right does Translink have to give my tax dollars to the City of Vancouver, then come back to me and cry that they are broke? Enough of this nonsense. Translink is tolling my bridges and making me pay for a police department that does nothing for my city. I've had enough!

You have successfully posted your comment. Please allow 24 hours for your comment to be reviewed before being published to the site.

By
on July 16, 2012
As a long time Surrey taxpayer, hearing of these secondments disgust me! So then "clvoss" (comment above) beleives that the City of Surrey should be paying for riots in Vancouver! Well where is VPD when the Dwali parade is held in Surrey? Only Surrey residents are present? I think not! The only reason I can think of that VPD is wanting Translink secondments is that VPD is controlling the Transit Police. Aren't they the ones that just did the Translink police audit?? Thanks to Jordan we know VPD did the audit. I say NO to any piece of my tax dollars going towards secondments! Actually I say NO to any more monies going to Translink PERIOD....full independent audit needed immediatley. Where are the Mayors?? They voted the gas tax, they should demand answers on these secondments. Mayors Watts bring in free VPD and Transit police members for the next Dwali parade!!

You have successfully posted your comment. Please allow 24 hours for your comment to be reviewed before being published to the site.

By
on July 16, 2012
Great work Jordan! Enjoying hearing everything Translink is hiding. Like these bozos need their own police force...what a joke! Hope the new Chief didn't sell his home in Edmonton. Or does he just think the BC public buys his "anecdoctal" responses. Chief Dubord we are not easily hood-winked in BC. Guess you should have listed to Garry Meads....re-read YOUR Edmonton report! Thanks Jordan, we need more people like you!!

You have successfully posted your comment. Please allow 24 hours for your comment to be reviewed before being published to the site.

LEAVE A COMMENT

You have successfully posted your comment. Please allow 24 hours for your comment to be reviewed before being published to the site.

Sign in to leave a comment

You have successfully posted your comment. Please allow 24 hours for your comment to be reviewed before being published to the site.

You have the power to change who influences politics in our country: big unions, big corporations and government-funded special interest groups can be challenged by the contributions of thousands of individual taxpayers who care to make a difference.

FEATURED PETITIONS

JOIN US

Join over 81,000 Canadian Taxpayers receiving our Action Update newsletter. I understand that I may unsubscribe at any time.

RECEIVE THE TAXPAYER MAGAZINE!

“False Alarms”“Message Delivered”
The Taxpayer