Community outreach programs like Surrey RCMP's Coffee with a Cop have been popular among residents.

Community outreach programs like Surrey RCMP's Coffee with a Cop have been popular among residents.

Community Constables arrive in Surrey neighbourhoods

Four community-based RCMP members now in areas across city.

The RCMP now has four new ‘Community Constables’ in neighbourhoods throughout Surrey.

Having arrived “in the last few months,” according to Cpl. Scotty Schumann, the community-focused officers will be permanently posted in the city.

According to an RCMP news release issued Tuesday, the goal of the new positions is to provide “a better opportunity to build long-term relationships with the communities they serve.”

The officers are regular members – they’ll carry firearms and wear the same uniform as other RCMP officers  – but Schumann said they are not trained to investigate crimes. Instead, they will engage their communities in crime prevention activities and help identify crime-related problems in their respective areas.

As well, they will provide “tactical enforcement” and investigational support to other RCMP offers as needed.

Schumann did not know the exact neighbourhoods to which the four community constables were assigned, but expected one would be in the South Surrey area if not immediately, then when the program is expanded in the future.

The addition of the four officers is not directly part of the city’s overall crime-reduction strategy; Schumann said their addition to the force is “more based on the community side” and are not included in the 100 RCMP officers that were promised to the city last year.

As of March, 83 of the 100 promised officers had arrived in Surrey, and another 16 – on top of the 100-officer target – are expected by year’s end.