Police Scotland has been urged to scrap controversial plans to merge its three north-east divisions.
Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald is deeply opposed to proposals to subsume Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray into one entity.
He claimed Scotland’s third largest city had distinct needs and the move could lead to no officer of chief superintendent rank based there.
Mr Macdonald, who expressed his views in a response to a consultation on the issue, said he doubted there was a city of similar size to Aberdeen in western Europe that lacked a distinct police division.
Chief Superintendent Mark McLaren, local police commander for Aberdeenshire and Moray, has claimed that the proposed merger would “harmonise” policing in the north-east.
He said there were many areas where there was a crossover and senior officers were “competing against each other for the same pool of people” who should be brought together.
But Mr Macdonald, a Labour MSP, said: “There is a real risk of Aberdeen being treated as just another town, rather than recognised as a major urban centre in its own right.
“Aberdeen already faces the loss of its police and fire control rooms, and has seen the closure of Aberdeen Prison and a rundown in the police forensic service.
“Scotland’s public services need to understand that Aberdeen is Scotland’s third city and the dynamo of the Scottish economy.”
Mr Macdonald pointed out that the recent downturn in the oil and gas industry could have “some beneficial side-effects” for public services.
He said problems associated with losing police officers and civilian staff to North Sea firms would be lessened to some degree and a sector “cool-off” could reduce the cost of living for people moving to the city for the first time.
Mr Macdonald said: “Rather than looking to rationalise yet further, now is the time for the police service to seek to recruit and retain personnel in order to consolidate its position in both Aberdeen and the neighbouring divisional area.”
Assistant chief constable Campbell Thomson, who is responsible for local policing in the north of Scotland, said the consultation was ongoing and no final decision had been made.
“That decision will be informed from a variety of sources, including all feedback received,” he added.
“Lewis Macdonald has provided a number of points of constructive feedback, which we have acknowledged and will reflect upon.”