THE Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC) spokesperson Staff-Sgt. Lindsey Houghton on Monday in response to Peter German’s report on money laundering in BC noted that in the portion of the second report that was released to the public, German makes several references to the CFSEU-BC, the Organized Crime Agency of BC (OCABC) and the Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team (JIGIT).
He pointed out: “The full report, while not yet released, is anticipated to shine light on some complex areas where law enforcement at all levels have yet to fully evolve. The portion released today touches on some of those areas; however, requires some clarification that left unresolved would leave an incomplete picture.”
Houghton explained: “An important distinction to make is that the CFSEU-BC is a separate provincial policing entity from the RCMP that reports to a Board of Governance made up of B.C. municipal police chiefs, senior RCMP leaders, and a representative of the Police Services Branch of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“The Report refers to OCABC (referred to in Mr. German’s report as “OCA”) and that CFSEU-BC’s “earlier iteration”, was OCABC. OCABC became a provincially designated policing unit under the B.C. Police Act in March 1999, replacing the Coordinated Law Enforcement Unit (CLEU), referred to by Mr. German as the “Combined Law Enforcement Unit” in his report. The Agency has the same provincial Police Act designation as the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service (Transit Police) and the Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police Service (STPS).
“OCABC has grown since its inception to include 32 sworn police officers and over 200 civilian staff. With its sworn and civilian staff combined, it is larger than many smaller municipal police agencies in British Columbia. Amongst the 14 integrated policing partners, the OCABC is unique.
“OCABC police officers have the same authorities and powers as municipal and RCMP police officers while on and off duty. They are sworn in as designated provincial constables, with full powers throughout the province and possess RCMP supernumerary status throughout Canada.
“The Officer in Charge (OIC) of the CFSEU-BC is also the Chief Officer of OCABC. The OIC of the CFSEU-BC, who holds the rank of Assistant Commissioner in the RCMP, provides operational command as well as managerial oversight and direction to all seconded personnel, including OCABC staff. The CFSEU-BC’s Senior Management Team is made up of senior municipal, RCMP, and OCABC leaders working under the banner of the CFSEU-BC.”
He said that the the mission statement of OCABC is: “To serve as the foundational police agency of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – BC by combating organized crime in an innovative, progressive and professional manner, with integrity and honour, in service of British Columbians”.