Q19: 20 Questions for Langley Township Council candidates

Rick Green (for MAYOR) – We must explore the use of Community Police Officers which is a significantly lower cost where needed.

Petrina Arnason – YES There is new information with respect to the potential that the provincial government may mandate that municipalities and districts participate in a regional RCMP initiative. This policy would obviously impact our ability to make local policing choices. 

Solon Bucholz – DON’T KNOW. Our existing members are doing an excellent job. I believe we need to focus more on community education, crime prevention, and social support services, than on enforcement and incarceration, as a solution to crime in the community. I would like the opportunity to hear from the Police members who may be able to provide me with important information as professionals in their field that would help me better understand the demands for more police officers and the implications this would have on the municipal budget.

David Davis – Yes. This is a public safety issue and our population is continuing to grow.

Bev Dornan – Yes, as the municipality grows, this will need to be addressed, but hopefully the increases can be handled by increased tax revenue.

Zoshia Ettenberg – I don’t know. So far I have not seen any arguments pro or con.

Charlie Fox – Yes, as the community grows so does the tax base and a safe, health community is what we need in this Township.

Clint Lee – No, it’s expensive and easy to say that we need more policing; what Langley needs is better community planning and design.  Communities must be planned and executed based on sustainability principles such as those found in the tenets of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Research has shown that with proper design and effective use of the built environment, the opportunity for crime and fear of crime can be reduced.  Through their involvement in design and construction, architects, planners and builders can influence the creation of safer neighbourhoods and communities.  For example, in our own neighbourhoods we can design roadways to discourage through-traffic, build more public spaces and maximize the residents’ ability to use and view them, provide appropriate lighting for streets, paths, alleys, and parks and encourage residents to watch over each other through community groups.

Patricia Lessard – I DON’T KNOW, without seeing the budget of where we may be able to achieve efficiencies it is difficult.  As stated above, this issue should be included in the strategic plan.

Bob Long – Yes – I can’t see any way to hire more police without impacting the budget.

Kevin Mitchell – NO if it means a tax increase.

Jackie Mandzak – No. At this time the Langleys, which share the use of the RCMP, have a high ratio of police officers to residents.  What we should be doing is finding ways to work with community awareness so that residents are encouraged to have a greater measure of control over their safety. By looking at the possibilities of community program expansion, which is largely volunteer, we can educate to help reduce minor crimes, giving officers the ability to respond with greater capacity. When residents are encouraged to work together, to know their community, the petty crime rate goes down. 

Scott Nichols – Yes. If they are required, we should hire more staff.

Angie Quaale – I don’t know. Our RCMP do a great job but I wonder if looking at ideas like they are exploring in Surrey, to expand the coverage by adding a different “level” of service might make some sense.

Kim Richter – YES. As in my response to Question #18 above, the number one reason (my opinion) why any community has a municipal government is to ensure public safety. If more RCMP officers are needed to keep this community safe, then we should be hiring more RCMP officers. However, I think we need our RCMP officers to focus more on Langley rather than on regional priorities especially if Langley taxpayers are footing the bill. It costs more than $120,000 per year to put one police officer on the roads in Langley. Police costs are the largest single slice of the revenue pie in Langley amounting to 30+% of every municipal tax dollar.

Blair Whitmarsh – Yes/No – I am committed to a strategy that increases the number of firefighters in Langley within a fiscally responsible budget.  

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