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Port police urgently needed says, Delta’s police chief

Currently, there is no full-time port police force after the Ports Canada Police were disbanded in 1997
Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord has written an open letter to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police calling on support to create a dedicated police force for Canada’s ports. | Chung Chow, BIV

Delta’s police chief is reaching out across the country calling for a new policing model for Canada’s ports, saying it’s a “matter of national security significance that directly impacts the safety and security of our communities and our nation’s economy.”

Chief Neil Dubord wrote Nov. 2 to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police asking for support for a report commissioned by the City of Delta and Delta Police, which says there’s an urgent need to change the approach to policing of Canada’s ports, such as Deltaport.

Currently, there is no full-time police force, after the Ports Canada Police were disbanded in 1997.

Organized crime is using the ports for export and import of contraband and other illegal activities, “that threaten the safety and integrity of our supply chain and the safety of our communities,” Dubord said.

The strategic and economic importance of our ports, “cannot be overstated …”

Dubord included the document, Policing our Ports: A Report to the City of Delta, written by Peter German and Associates that was released in September.

The report suggests several possible policing models and recommends a $10 surcharge on every container shipped through Canada’s ports to fund them.

Dubord said he’s asking for the police chiefs’ endorsement saying the association is a “powerful catalyst” in advocating for needed changes, “to enhance security at our ports.”

Dubord told the Delta Police Board at its October meeting that he doesn’t think there is support for a separate ports police, but there was some support for a port patrol done by either Vancouver or DPD, with an investigative element.

He said in October there’s been no response from Ottawa.

Delta Mayor George Harvie pressed the case with MPs in Ottawa in September, noting that many ministers, except Delta MP Carla Qualtrough, didn’t even know there wasn’t a dedicated port policing force.