Surrey policing saga over, mayor accepts judicial review decision

The years-long controversy over the transition to a civic police force in Surrey is seemingly over.

Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke seems to have given up in her bid to keep the RCMP as the police force of jurisdiction. In Monday night’s city council meeting, the mayor explained she has accepted the judicial review decision which ruled the province was right to force the transition to the Surrey Police Service.

“While I’m disappointed by the outcome of the judicial review, I accept the decision, and we are moving forward with what the city needs to do to ensure that our residents are prioritized with the provincial legislated police transition.”

After campaigning against the creation of the SPS, Locke shared Monday that she and council will continue to keep an eye on the transition, including the associated costs.


“It is important to note that the findings from the judicial review did reveal some … concerning information that requires further and comprehensive review,” Locke said.

The apparent resolution is likely a relief to Brian Sauve with the National Police Federation, the organization that represents RCMP members, many of whom felt like they were living in purgatory as the saga played out.

“We have always said that this is a decision that should be about public safety. The residents of Surrey having their say in public safety never should be politicized,” Suave said Monday.

Speaking to CityNews, SPS media liaison Ian MacDonald shared that there are 225 SPS officers deployed over eight units as of Tuesday.

The Surrey Police Service takes over as the police of jurisdiction in Surrey on Nov. 29, and MacDonald explained the police agency is working to hire more staff and attain more resources so it’s ready for that date.

“We certainly have plans and a lot of interest from officers from across the country in joining SPS,” he said. “Some of the obstacles that are front of mind for applicants have been removed, so we have seen an uptick in interest.”

MacDonald explained that while the SPS will take over as the force of jurisdiction come the end of November, the transition completion date is still “a couple years out.”

“From November 29, phase two, until the completion date, the RCMP will be in a support role. They will continue to be valuable partners, and through the collaboration between the two organizations, that’s how we’ll bring about and maintain public safety and service.

“As we gain more police staff, the RCMP in Surrey demobilize and their resources can be sent to other detachments in other cities.”

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