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Columns: Transit Police Must Be Part Of Translink Audit
UPDATED 16/07/2012 – COMMENT RECEIVED. By Jordan Bateman – CTF. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on B.C. Attorney General Shirley Bond to order the B.C. Director of Police Services to include Transit Police spending in the upcoming TransLink audit.
Under B.C.’s Police Act, only the Director of Police Services, subject to the direction of the Attorney General, can order an audit.
“If Minister Bond or the police services director don’t order Transit Police to be included in the TransLink audit, the force will be left unexamined,” said Jordan Bateman, CTF B.C. Director. “This would exclude more than $27 million of annual TransLink spending from the auditors’ review and encourage the culture of waste we have seen grow at Transit Police.”
While the recent Vancouver Police Department audit reviewed Transit Police operations, it only tangentially examined wasteful spending such as Sunday bonuses, overuse of overtime and being paid for shifts they didn’t work. Only a full value-for-money of Transit Police would cover these items as part of the overall TransLink review.
“Whistleblowers within the Transit Police are claiming that the force will be exempt from this TransLink audit thanks to the Police Act,” said Bateman. “Transit Police shouldn’t be able to wriggle out of this important process—the provincial government must act to include Transit Police in the review. Taxpayers deserve the full picture of what’s going on.”
The CTF has been a vocal supporter of the TransLink audit, having expressed concerns over wasteful spending at the transit authority, including: $40,000 TV screens, nepotism, security breaches, U-pass theft, safety concerns, communication mistakes, fare evasion, pay polling, executive bonuses and superfluous studies.
Two-thirds of Transit Police files are fare evasion checks, which will drop dramatically when the SkyTrain fare gates are completed and with Transit Security now able to write the same tickets. The average Transit Police officer deals with less than 10 violent or property crimes a year—including unfounded and unsubstantiated files.
Jordan Bateman is the B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation
He can be reached at 604-510-5535, or via E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org