B.C.’s Top Cop Reflects on 2015, Looks Ahead to 2016
Prince George, B.C. – A whirlwind.
That’s how Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris describes 2015.
“It started of course with the Canada Winter Games and that was a world class event, very exciting,” he says. “And then as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations – the wildlife habitat review I did was very time consuming.”
There was also all the time he spent travelling the province doing committee work which of course all culminated with his recent appointment as minister this month, something he acknowledges will take “several months” to get a handle on though his previous 32 years with the RCMP should ease that transition.
“I do understand how the ministry works from my time in the force so I’m familiar with the systems and the processes that are in place. With corrections, policing, the Coroners Service, consumer protection, road safety. Those are the areas under my ministry.”
Once he’s up to speed, he says one of his priorities in 2016 will be stemming a lot of “misinformation” about policing.
“Perhaps a feeling that organized crime is on the increase and public safety is a concern. Our police do a fantastic job in this province and the types of investigations they do are world class,” he says.
“They’re getting great results but the public don’t hear a lot of that stuff so I want to make sure and I want to reinforce to the people in B.C. that we live in a very safe province, in a very safe country and that they are going to be putting all the bad guys in jail.”
That’s not to say who won’t be focusing his attention on other files.
“Street level drug trafficking is a major concern, I don’t think we’re ever going to stop that, it’s been around since the beginning of time but we will be doing our very best to make sure that we incarcerate the people that are responsible.”
He’s also taken notice of Prince George RCMP Superintendent Warren Brown’s call for more officers in his detachment.
“Being a police manager myself in the old days my heart goes out to any police manager, any manager of a public resource, trying to work within the confines of budgets,” says Morris.
“Particularly in the policing area though, where you can’t really predict what’s going to be coming down the pike with respect to crime or the complexities associated with that crime.
“So I certainly understand that but it’s all taxpayers dollars, it’s a municipal detachment where the majority of funds come from the City of Prince George. So I’ll let Warren have that discussion with mayor and council and I’m there to support him in any way that I can.”