Surrey to hire four bylaw officers for public safety pilot project in Newton

NEWTON — Surrey is moving to a three-tiered public safety model in Newton that involves bylaw officers as it phases out a community patrols contract with BC Commissionaires.

The commissionaires patrols – which are expected to have cost $950,000 by the time the contract expires at the end of 2015 – were added in the wake of the deaths of Julie Paskall and Serena Vermeersch.

In February, Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy said there had been no significant reductions in crime and expressed concern about the city being liable for the workers. Plus, they have no enforcement powers, he noted.

City manager Vincent Lalonde said the commissionaires were a "stop-gap measure."

Starting in 2016, the city will transition to the new model where the bylaws department, RCMP and Newton BIA will partner to combat crime in the area’s core.

The police committee – which all of council sits on – voted in favour of the model Monday.

"Our goal is to enhance the service that we’re currently giving and looking forward a year from now or two years from now, there will be more engagement, more visibility and more efficient enforcement," said Fordy.

In 2016, the city plans to hire four bylaw officers specifically for the pilot project. The new hires lead the community safety patrols, focusing on community engagement and lower level nuisance enforcement.

On the RCMP’s end, it will continue with enhanced service in Newton. In the past 22 weeks, the RCMP says it has stepped up policing in Newton’s core by way of overtime. The detachment says this has resulted in 463 street checks, 203 violation tickets and 40 arrests.

A report noted a Community Constable program has replaced the RCMP’s discontinued Community Safety Officer pilot project. Training to transition officers to the new program is set for September, for tentative completion at the end of February 2016.

Finally, the third tier will be the Newton BIA, which is establishing a community patrol program similar to that of the Downtown Surrey BIA’s.

If successful, the model may be utilized throughout the city.

Meanwhile, city council voted to change the name of the police committee to the public safety committee.

areid@thenow newspaper.com

Just Posted

South Surrey senior says violent bike crash was a ‘blessing in disguise’

Six people stopped to help Dave Rogers after he crashed his bike and broke his collarbone

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

Public hearing planned for Campbell Heights development

Project to see the removal of more than 500 trees

City of White Rock tells residents to keep distance from pier project

Residents and tourists are asked to stay at least 100 metres away from barge

White Rock students deliver donation to low-income families

Seniors, kids and more to benefit from Peace Arch Elementary students’ efforts

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Semis catch fire at wrecker off Highway 1 in west Abbotsford

Crews called to scene at around 2 p.m., finding up to six semis that had caught fire at the wrecker

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read