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New Brunswick rejects proposal for new regional police force to replace RCMP

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FLORENCEVILLE-BRISTOL, N.B. -

New Brunswick's government has rejected a pitch to replace the RCMP with a regional police force in the western part of the province.

District of Carleton North Mayor Andrew Harvey told council this week he was disappointed in the province's decision.

Harvey has told local media he started to look for alternatives to the RCMP because residents in his community felt unsafe by a lack of police presence.

The mayor read a letter from Public Safety Minister Kris Austin saying that the province would not support the creation of a new police force for Carleton North and nearby Hartland. N.B., both of which border Maine.

Austin said in the letter it would be too expensive to set up a new force and too challenging to recruit local people to be officers.

Carleton North Coun. Scott Oakes said his community's proposal would have resulted in higher quality police service at the same cost or cheaper than what the region pays for the RCMP.

The Department of Public Safety said in an email that it is aware policing costs are increasing and that several communities are looking at ways to manage the expense, but creating a stand-alone police force for Hartland and Carleton North "would be challenging."

"The department is open, however, to having further conversations."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2024.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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