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Murder probe highlights RCMP funding imbalance

Despite half a million dollars being spent on one local murder investigation, Richmond needs more bang for its integrated police team buck.

Despite half a million dollars being spent on one local murder investigation, Richmond needs more bang for its integrated police team buck.

The startling cost of just one Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) ongoing murder probe and the figure may still rise was revealed to a city council committee this week.

The city conducted an investigation of its own into how much it pays into the RCMPs integrated team model and how much it gets out of it.

It was discovered that Richmond paid out $6.34 million between 2010/11 and 2011/12, but received in return just $5.09 million in services from the Mounties five integrated regional teams.

Surrey, in stark contrast, paid $19.46 million, while receiving $24.85 million in services.

Mayor Malcolm Brodie asked if the massive shortfall can safely be characterized as unsatisfactory?

We had a homicide, which involved travel to Hong Kong and northern B.C., that cost $500,000, so far, said the citys general manager of law and community safety, Phyllis Carlyle. Can we refine the formula (for paying into the model)? We should certainly start the discussion.

The education here is Surrey is getting an inordinately large amount of service for the amount paid and theyre skimming that on the back of other cities.

The discrepancy is something that the city will need to keep a close eye on, added Carlyle.

Were not going to get more refined figures from the RCMP, she said.

The figures and their comparisons were gleaned from the annual report from the Lower Mainland district of the RCMPs integrated team.

The citys report analyzed the cost of funding the Mounties five specialized integrated teams: IHIT; Integrated Forensic Identification Services; Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service; Integrated Police Dog Services and Emergency Response.

The amount spent by Richmond has risen to $3.35 million in 2011/12 from $2.69 million in 2008/09.

Another spike is forecast next year, with an around 11 per cent jump to $3.72 million.

Mayor Brodie reiterated, as hes been doing much of the year amid the protracted RCMP contract negotiations, that the province should be paying the lions share of integrated policing costs.

Theres nobody controlling the costs, somebody has to oversee the function, said Carlyle.

The mayor was backed by community safety committee members in having copies of the citys analysis sent to the solicitor general, the RCMP and making a further demand for the province to fund the integrated team on a 70/30 basis.

The citys report stated that, during the recent RCMP contract renewal negotiations, the city requested the B.C. government funds entirely the integrated teams. As it stands, IHIT is funded on a 70/30 basis between cities and B.C., with all other teams 90/10 between cities and the federal government.