Nov. 15-21 marks B.C. Multiculturalism Week and an opportunity to recognize the diversity that makes Surrey a vibrant and unique place to live, work and police.
The Surrey RCMP is made up of police officers from across Canada, each with their own unique backgrounds, skill sets and languages. Collectively, Surrey RCMP officers, staff and volunteers speak 43 different languages. This linguistic representation covers more than 100 countries on every continent. Languages spoken include more widely spoken languages such as Mandarin, French, Spanish and Punjabi and lesser-known languages like Uyghur and Pashtun.
“Surrey is diverse in many ways: culturally, geographically, and linguistically. As Surrey’s police force, our goal is not only to recognize and understand the diversity of our citizens, but also to reflect it,” said Chief Supt. Bill Fordy. “I am proud that our officers, staff and the recent additions to our senior management team, combine, not only a wealth of policing expertise, but cultural backgrounds and language skills to help us engage with our diverse communities.”
Some recent additions to the Surrey RCMP senior management team over the past year include: Superintendent Shawn Gill, Superintendent Carol Bradley, Superintendent Manny Mann, Inspector Celso DeLemos, Inspector Ghalib Bhayani and Inspector Mike Bhatti.
The Surrey RCMP Diversity Unit works with community partners, officers and staff to enhance the detachment’s ability to connect with the city’s diverse communities. The diversity coordinator, a municipal employee, organizes diversity workshops for employees, arranges participation in cultural events such as Vaisakhi and the Pulling Together Canoe Journey and campaigns such as the Rakhi Project, which raises awareness about domestic abuse.
The diversity unit sits on several committees including: the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership, BC Law Enforcement Diversity Network and the City of Surrey Diversity Advisory Committee. In addition Surrey RCMP officers and staff participate in community outreach initiatives and roundtable discussions, such as the World Refugee Day event, Red FM Run, BC Muslim Association youth basketball tournament, Aboriginal Roundtable, outreach to youth, parents and elders in various diverse communities including an upcoming panel discussion with Somali youth.
Working with settlement and community agencies, the Surrey RCMP diversity unit also provides newcomers to Canada with the opportunity to learn more about policing and the Surrey RCMP through a tour of the main detachment.
In addition, a newly created “Newcomer’s Guide to Policing” is now available online through the Surrey RCMP website in English, French and Punjabi, and, by email request, in Chinese. The guide is intended to provide information about the police services available in Surrey, the role of the police, when to call police, safety tips, and how residents can be actively involved in crime prevention.