Delta Police Board: Distinction between Council’s and Police Board’s role in municipal policing

THE Delta Police Board said on Thursday said that in response to recent media statements and a notice of motion brought by a City of Delta councillor, it would like to clarify its role and the role of Delta City Council in municipal policing.

The Board said in a statement: “Policing in British Columbia is regulated by the B.C. Police Act, and overseen by the provincial government. This provincially legislated structure ensures that police departments remain independent and protected from municipal politics. Municipal Police Boards are the governance bodies for municipal police departments, and have the essential role of creating and maintaining the police department’s independence from Council.

“Councils do not, and are not able to, direct the administration or operations of a police department. Council’s role in relation to the Delta Police Department (DPD) is solely to: 1) provide the required funding for the Department; and 2) identify local priorities, goals and objectives, which the DPD takes into account when developing its strategic plan.

“”The Mayor is legally required to be the Chair of the Police Board, and therefore its spokesperson. However, the Mayor does not have a vote in relation to the Board’s governance of the police department, except in the case of a tie vote of the Board members. When speaking for the Board, the Mayor always represents and conveys the unified majority position of the Board, in matters concerning the DPD and community public safety.

“This information is being provided to properly explain Council’s role in local policing administration and operations. As a governance body, the Board’s mandate is to provide governance oversight to the DPD, acting in the best interest of our community as a whole.

“As a Police Board composed of local community residents, who live, work and raise families in North and South Delta, we are committed to ensuring that the DPD continues to provide excellence in policing to our community and upholds the community policing philosophy of “No Call Too Small.”

“The Delta Police Board maintains full confidence in the leadership of Chief Constable Neil Dubord. We are also proud of the work of the entire DPD team, and are grateful for their ongoing commitment and dedication to keeping our Delta communities safe.”