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Delta Police Taking the Lead in Port Policing, by Default


Chris Madsen

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Since the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority ended funding to the Waterfront Joint Forces Operation in late 2015, much of the burden for port policing has been thrown onto local municipality police forces, without additional funding or resources.  The argument is that nearby municipalities collect taxes and grants in lieu of taxes from port activities, and they should be providing police services like other industrial and commercial concerns.  This really ignores the scope of crime and criminal activity that is happening in Canada's major ports, in particular the largest Vancouver - smuggling of drugs, people, and cars, theft and pilferage,or the presence of people with long criminal records amongst the workforce on the docks.  These are federal lands leased to private tenants by an autonomous delinked government port authority and the province holds responsibility for policing, hence the RCMP under provincial contract policing arrangements.  Like most things, the RCMP does the minimum and cheapest, and local municipal police forces end up providing what service they can.  The federal port police force was disbanded back in 1997, due to budget cuts and devolving of authority to the port authorities under new legislation.

 

Delta Police Chief Constable Neil Dubord raised the issue last year, the impact it is having on his police force, and the gaps that have emerged:

Revive port police to fight organized crime on the waterfront, Delta chief says | The Star

Delta pushing to re-establish port policing agency | Delta Optimist (delta-optimist.com)

Deltaport’s lack of police means less than 1 per cent of containers get checked, officials say - BC | Globalnews.ca

In the meantime, Delta Police continue to do stellar work around the port, in conjunction with partners like the Canada Border Services Agency, which has put into operation a container examination facility on Tsawwassen First Nations lands serving the terminals at Roberts Bank:

New container examination facility opens at Roberts Bank - Canada.ca

2019.06.17.CBSA_Facility_Grand_Opening.pdf (tsawwassenfirstnation.com)

Madsen_Salus_Journal_Volume_6_Number_1_2018_pp_26-43.pdf

There is section devoted to port and marine policing badges in the Gallery section of this website.  Here you will find many of the historical and current badges of the police involved in this very specialized line of law enforcement.

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