Surrey Police Board officially approves new force

Nine members of the Surrey Police Board approved a motion to create the Surrey Police Service at the board’s first-ever meeting. Miranda Fatur reports on what questions the public wants answered as the controversial police transition moves forward.

SURREY — One of the fastest-growing cities in Canada is another step closer to having its own police force as Surrey moves ahead with a controversial plan to replace its RCMP force.

At their first-ever meeting on Thursday, nine members of the Surrey Police Board officially approved a motion to create the Surrey Police Service.

Surrey’s current contract with the Mounties ends March 31 and the new force is expected to launch the following day.

Mayor Doug McCallum chaired Thursday’s meeting and says board members will work together in the coming weeks to recruit the top police leaders in Canada.

But the president of the National Police Federation — the bargaining agent for more than 20,000 RCMP members — says recruitment and training could pose challenges.


Brian Sauve says police departments across Canada are grappling with a dwindling pool of applicants, and it will be difficult for Surrey to find 800 officers in a short period of time.

Sauve says even if there are enough recruits, the Justice Institute of B-C doesn’t have the capacity to train them without an infusion of money from the province.

The process has also caused rifts in the mayor’s own political party as three members resigned from the Safe Surrey Coalition last year, citing concerns about McCallum’s approach to the transition.

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