Surrey police transition shaping up to be major election issue

Policing in Surrey looks like it could be a big election issue in the city, with one mayoral candidate promising to stop the transition away from the RCMP to the new municipal force.

Current city councillor and mayoral candidate Brenda Locke has promised in the past it will be the first thing she does if elected.

“I think we have to recognize that the transition has never happened, the Surrey RCMP are still the police of jurisdiction,” said Locke. “It’s not moving back. It’s just stopping what was a failed experiment from the beginning.”

“Surrey can not afford this transition … There was no proper due diligence done, there [were] no feasibility studies. There was no good reason given to move forward.”

Locke says since the RCMP is supported by federal funding, Surrey would be saving money by stopping the transition.

“Once this becomes a local government issue, the city pays for all those costs, that can [run] up to millions of dollars every year. We also know the purchasing power of the RCMP. It is incredible in comparison to what a city can do. So we’ll have all of those benefits. The cost savings to the city are enormous,” explained Locke.

Surrey Police Service Chief Norm Lipinski said in July there is no turning back.

“I can tell you it’s way, way too far down the road financially to unring the bell,” said Lipinski.

Related link:

Surrey First candidate for mayor Gordie Hogg says he promises to not only hire new officers, but to get “voters all the facts” about a transition from the RCMP to the Surrey Police Service so “they can make the choice about who should police British Columbia’s second-largest city.”

“Surrey residents deserve to know all of the facts about the police transition, and what it would take to complete the process,” Hogg said. “They should be the ones deciding who polices their community. At the same time, we need 300 new officers to give police the resources and people they need to keep Surrey safe.”

Civic elections in B.C. will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15.

According to a city statement, Surrey is “transferring policing in Surrey from a contracted service delivery model to operation of an independent municipal police service.”

With files from Charlie Carey

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today