Surrey council OKs extension of BC Commissionaires patrols

SURREY — Surrey council nearly doubled the amount of dollars it will spend on BC Commissionaires in 2015, but has plans to phase out the community patrols by year’s end.

At a meeting Monday night, city council approved a jump from $459,000 to $950,000 for the safety patrol services, with the contract running to the end of this year.

There was public outcry for more police on the streets in the wake of the deaths of hockey mom Julie Paskall and Serena Vermeersch in Newton. Part of the RCMP’s solution was to kick off a Community Safety Patrol pilot project, which began in April 2014.

At the time, then-councillor Barinder Rasode took issue with the contracting out of police work.

At a police committee meeting last February, Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy said there are a number of operational issues and risks in having the Commissionaires working for the RCMP.

He said there had been no significant reductions in crime trends, and expressed concern about the city being liable for the workers.

Situations could arise, he explained, that Commissionaires staff are not properly trained or equipped to handle.

They also have limited powers, and Fordy said the community may expect them to address situations, not just observe and report.

Mayor Linda Hepner confirmed Tuesday that the Commissionaires would be phased out, but noted their presence is "really highly valued" by residents.

"Until we have a strong transition plan in place, we are extending that contract," she said of Monday’s decision.

"Once we have some more folks on the ground and some of our CSOs (Community Safety Officers) have been trained, we’ll revisit it."

Meanwhile, Hepner says Surrey still hasn’t received the 20 officers Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney claims "are already on the ground."

"No one to my knowledge has yet arrived from that 100 officers," the mayor said Tuesday.


Email your thoughts on this issue to Include full name, address and phone number for verification purposes.

Just Posted

Police investigating after 14-year-old boy pepper sprayed at Surrey mall

Surrey RCMP say two males fled the scene before officers arrived on scene at Guildford Town Centre

Former Surrey mayor Bill Vogel dead at age 87

Vogel was Surrey’s 31st mayor, in the big chair from 1978 to 1980, and was alderman from 1973 to 1977

Woman and dogs fall through ice along Surrey’s Serpentine River

While things seem to have turned out OK this time, woman’s husband urges others to stay off thin ice

Province selects three bidding teams for Pattullo Bridge replacement

SNC-Lavalin, the company involved in allegations with Prime Minister’s Office, is among potential contractors

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP believe Cloverdale pellet gun incidents are ‘linked’

The incidents both happened in February just blocks apart

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Third measles case in Vancouver prompts letter to parents

Measles is highly contagious and spreads easily through the air

Abbotsford’s Matsqui prison beefing up security against contraband

Correctional service says officials found a number of unauthorized items during ‘exceptional search’

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

B.C. man known as ‘Papa Jimmy’ dies making daily trek to his wife

Maple Ridge 85-year-old made visits to New West for 12 years

Wilson-Raybould’s cabinet move due to departure from team: Trudeau

Jody Wilson-Raybould suddenly quit the cabinet this week, but Trudeau isn’t saying

VIDEO: Canada Winter Games athletes arrive in Red Deer from B.C. and beyond

Up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches will arrive throughout the day Thursday and Friday

Trump says he’ll declare national emergency to build border wall

In a rare show of bipartisanship, lawmakers voted Thursday to fund large swaths of the government

5 to start your day

A woman and dog OK after falling in Surrey river, a two-legged dog needs a prosthetic leg and more

Most Read