Moncton politicians are holding public consultations on whether to pull out of the Codiac Regional RCMP. ((CBC))

The New Brunswick Police Association is lobbying Moncton politicians to create a municipal police force, a plan it claims would save as much as $5 million annually.

The City of Moncton is holding another round of public consultations on Monday night on whether the Codiac Regional RCMP should be maintained, a Moncton-only RCMP detachment should be started, or if a city force should be created.

The city began the process of investigating whether to keep the regional RCMP force amid concerns over rising costs.

Dean Secord, the president of the New Brunswick Police Association, said the city would save money if it reverted to a municipal force.

"With a municipal force, we're saying they will save close to $4 [million] to $5 million," Secord said.

Moncton had a city force until it switched to a regional RCMP detachment more than a decade ago.

The association, which represents local police forces, said RCMP officers make higher salaries, and their benefits and pensions cost more than municipal police.

New cost-sharing agreement

The city is currently sharing the costs of a regional RCMP force with neighbouring Riverview and Dieppe.

The three communities have just reached a new cost-sharing agreement that could save Moncton $1.2 million.

Under the proposed agreement, Moncton's share of the Codiac RCMP budget will drop to 70 per cent from 74 per cent by 2012.

When the city began the process of exploring its policing options, it was estimated the average cost of RCMP service in Moncton for a taxpayer with a $140,000 home was $467, while it was only $387 in Riverview and $245 in Dieppe.

However, the city is still holding out for a 10 per cent rebate from the federal government for sticking with the RCMP. Other municipalities get the rebate, but there is no indication that Moncton will.

Critics have raised questions about how many officers a municipal force would be able to attract and the number of bilingual officers who would be patrolling the streets.

Secord said the city would have more say and more control with a municipal police force than they do now with the RCMP.