ontario news watch
British Columbia

Surrey, B.C., municipal police force calls for clarity over future

SURREY, B.C. — The municipal police service in Surrey, B.C., says delays deciding the future of policing in the city are weighing heavily on officers.

An open letter from the Surrey Police Service says the ongoing debate over whether the city transitions to using a municipal force or returns to the RCMP means employees are increasingly distracted by worries about their futures.

The letter calls for “a clear and safe path forward for policing in Surrey.”

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth recommended in late April that the city proceed with its transition to municipal policing rather than return to the Mounties, citing concerns over the number of RCMP vacancies in the province.

Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke, who campaigned on a promise to return to the RCMP, has said she hasn’t seen anything that would change her mind.

Premier David Eby says the government is making sure the back-and-forth does not affect the delivery of police services in Surrey, adding the issue is expected to be discussed at a June 5 council meeting.

A spokesman for the mayor’s office said Locke was unavailable for comment Wednesday because she was on her way to Toronto for a meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. 

But he said “nothing has changed” since Locke’s last statement about the transition.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2023

The Canadian Press

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *