Security guards can do the job – for less

TransLink police are too expensive and similar security could be had for far fewer dollars.

While I agree that the overtime cost of the transit police is concerning, it is clear from reading the VPD audit that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to issues concerning TransLink’s police force.

For example, in addition to $1.5 million in overtime, the department pays for each officer to have 127.5 extra hours of time off per year. The VPD audit acknowledges that “TransLink and the Transit Police are essentially giving up 127.5 hours for free.” This amounts to an expenditure of $825,000 per year.

My biggest concern is what exactly we are paying for? It seems to me that we are paying a very expensive police department to do the work of bylaw officers and private security. Most of the work done by the transit police consists of writing fare evasion tickets. But fare gates are coming and new legislation will allow SkyTrain attendants and transit security guards to write the same tickets.

As for “preventing crime” and responding to calls, the public wants presence (such as more security guards conducting patrols), not necessarily police. And the jurisdictional police are still responsible for all of the serious incidents that happen on the transit system, so what is the point of paying for two police departments?

The author of the audit report acknowledges that fare gates will take away much of the work of the transit police. He then tries to suggest other things for them to do, such as stand outside the stations because there will be “hostile passengers” created by bottlenecks, and ride around the park-and-rides on bicycles all day.

For a cost much cheaper to the taxpayer, we could be paying security guards to do both of these duties, and they wouldn’t be costing the taxpayer millions in overtime and “free” days off.


T. Harvey, Surrey

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Survey suggests 83 per cent of Surreyites ‘favour a referendum’ on policing transition

Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of the National Police Federation

Racist graffiti sparks Cloverdale man to renew calls for City to clean up street

Hate message the latest garbage dumped at the end of 176th Street

Brand new Tesla crashes into Surrey store front, mounts gas line

Driver was heading to the Autoplan store, straight off the lot

Surrey RCMP looking for missing 21-year-old

Police say Kenny Tran was last seen at around 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 19

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

New Alberta forward joins Vancouver Giants’ ranks

new left-handed 18-year-old is a familiar face to Giants head coach Michael Dyck

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Mugging with airsoft gun results in Langley school lockdown

Police found the weapon and a stolen phone later

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Chilliwack physiotherapist charged with sexual assault

Mounties urging other potential victims to make contact

Most Read