Other municipalities are also looking at opting out of the RCMP contract including Port Coquitlam, North Vancouver District, North Vancouver City and Richmond.
The move is long past due to send this horribly broken and dysfunctional organization on its way out of BC.
Burnaby is continuing to look at policing alternatives to the RCMP after being forced by the province to sign what it considered a less-than-palatable 20-year contract last June.
The RCMP contract includes an opt-out clause in which participating municipalities would need to give two-years notice before changing to a different policing system.
But first, Burnaby and several other cities are studying the feasibility and ramifications of such a change.
Burnaby city staff are working with counterparts in Port Coquitlam, North Vancouver District, North Vancouver City and Richmond on the study, using a 10-year-old Surrey study as a baseline to start.
The focus has been on what the real costs are to leave the RCMP, including transition costs, the annual costs of running their own police department, and the cost of potential mergers of police forces, said Mayor Derek Corrigan.
"I also think, to be honest, it's an effort to try to get the RCMP to understand how dissatisifed we are with the way the relationship has operated between us, the provincial government and Ottawa."
Corrigan stressed that the cities have great relationships at the detachment level.
"Where we have problems, where we have the disconnect is with Ottawa and the fact they are constantly dictating edicts to the municipalities and to their own departments that cause us a lot of expense and concern. And that often they're done without any notice and without any consideration of the impact on local budgets."
He cited as an example the new $1.2-billion RCMP E Division headquarters being built in Surrey's Green Timbers area "and the fact we're expected to pay for part of that facility but we never asked for it, we never negotiated it, we're left to simply do as we're told and that's just not good enough."
As for possible policing partnerships for Burnaby, Corrigan said New Westminster "would be the most natural one."
Burnaby city staff are examining the possibility and whether growing an existing police department would be better and less expensive than starting their own, he said, noting much of the necessary infrastructure already exists in the Royal City.
"I think in the long run it would likely be a big advantage to New Westminster to spread the costs more broadly, but those are questions that both of us will have to answer through our staff."
He stressed that New Westminster has yet to take a position on the idea and the two cities would have to get into more serious discussions.
But Corrigan believes that city would be a much more natural fit than Vancouver.
"When you partner with a city as big as Vancouver with as many issues as Vancouver, the likelihood that we would have a lot of resources taken to service Downtown Vancouver would be problematic," he said.
"I think there's a much more even sort of relationship between New Westminster and Burnaby in the sense that we're operating in four town centres and New Westminster is like another town centre for policing purposes."
The study is slated to take 6 months and is expected to be completed early next year.http://www.burnabyne.../175861801.html