Blacks Harbour council votes to drop RCMP
Village will join with St. George and approach province for permission to create local police force
The village council in Blacks Harbour has voted to end the community's contract with the RCMP.
It will now join forces with the town of St. George to approach the province about having a local force established to police the two communities.
They're a more expensive force. Per officer they cost you more money.- John Craig, Blacks Harbour resident
The council in St. George, located less than 20 kilometres away from Blacks Harbour, voted Monday to drop the RCMP.
Together the two communities pay more than $500,000 a year for RCMP coverage and both feel they aren't getting their money's worth.
Blacks Harbour resident John Craig sat on a local committee that didn't like the idea of the RCMP taking over from the local police force back in 1988.
"They're a more expensive force," said Craig. "Per officer they cost you more money."
"And whereas a local force, they know your people. They stay here in the Harbour and they know the people that are here. Whereas the RCMP, they rotate in and out."
Craig thinks sharing police services with St. George is the way to go.
"The province of New Brunswick wants municipalities to work together and to share costs and if you've got two communities that want to do it, they should move ahead and do it."
"If we receive permission from the minister of public safety to move forward with the next step, we would notify the RCMP," said St. George Mayor Sharon Tucker. "And we hope if that is to be the opportunity, then we hope to be able to do that in March."
The communities think they should get better service for the money they pay to the RCMP. One of their complaints is the slow response times from the RCMP dispatch centre in Fredericton.
"And then they determine from there whatever the emergency is and what the response should be," said Blacks Harbour Deputy Mayor Natalie Harris. "So sometimes it may be a next-day response, or two days, or sometimes even longer before there's a response."