Surrey Mayor Doug McCalllum and BC RCMP Deputy Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr. (Now-Leader file photos)

Policing

BC RCMP’s commanding officer says Surrey mayor ‘undermining’ public trust, confidence in policing

Doug McCallum released statement shortly after fatal shooting, emphasizing ‘need’ for city police force

BC RCMP’s commanding officer says Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s statements about Friday morning’s fatal shooting in Newton risks “undermining public trust and confidence in policing.”

Brenda Butterworth-Carr said in a statement Friday afternoon (Nov. 9) that with a “homicide of this nature” people are already reluctant to come forward. Read Butterworth-Carr’s full statement at the end of the story.

“Any erosion of public trust and confidence challenges our ability to solve complex cases with assistance from people who are often reluctant to participate in the first place. This concern is not unique to any one police force,” she said.

“Until Surrey RCMP is no longer the contracted police service, our employees must be allowed to and will continue to police safely and effectively.

“I will not allow public confidence in policing to be undermined or eroded.”

READ ALSO: McCallum says shooting emphasizes need for Surrey to have own police force

READ ALSO: Does Surrey need its own police force?

WATCH VIDEO: Surrey top cop no longer mum on McCallum’s vow to nix RCMP contract

Just before 1:30 a.m. Friday morning (Nov. 9), police were called to a shooting at the 14200-block of 70A Avenue. The 22-year-old victim, RCMP said, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says it believes the shooting was targeted and is related to ongoing gang violence throughout the Lower Mainland.

McCallum released a statement Friday morning following the fatal shooting.

“This morning’s tragic shooting outside of a home in Newton is yet another example of the ongoing trauma and fear that are being inflicted on the communities, residents and families of Surrey,” he said. “This latest incident of deadly gun violence further emphasizes the need for the City of Surrey to have its own city police force.”

“The people of Surrey have been abundantly clear that such a move is a top priority, which is why Council and I have moved immediately to establish a Surrey Police Department and terminate the city’s contract with the RCMP.”

Friday’s deadly shooting was Surrey’s 11th homicide of the year. Eight of the victims died by gunfire.

There have been at least 34 shootings in Surrey in 2018. There were 59 shootings in Surrey during 2017, in 2016 there were 61 and in 2015 there were 88.

Brenda Butterworth-Carr’s statement:

Earlier today, the Surrey Mayor issued a statement about a homicide in

the 14200 block of 70A Avenue that occurred at 1:30 AM today.

The homicide is believed to be a targeted event and while the exact

motive is still being determined, our investigators say the victim is

associated to the region-wide Lower Mainland gang conflict. As citizens

in the region – I am one too – we are alarmed when there is gang

violence on our streets. It erodes our sense of safety and our feeling

of community.

The fact that a 22-year-old man has been murdered is terrible. I feel

for the family and for the residents of the Newton neighbourhood in

which this incident took place. Right now, the Surrey RCMP and the

Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) are focussed on finding

out who murdered this young man.

Statements like this risk undermining public trust and confidence in

policing. With a homicide of this nature, people are already reluctant

to come forward. Any erosion of public trust and confidence challenges

our ability to solve complex cases with assistance from people who are

often reluctant to participate in the first place. This concern is not

unique to any one police force.

The Surrey RCMP includes the expertise of several Lower Mainland

Integrated Teams including the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team

(IHIT), Emergency Response Team (ERT), Integrated Forensic

Identification Services (IFIS), Integrated Police Dog Services (IPDS),

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) and the Integrated

Collision Analysis Reconstruction Services (ICARS). These all provide

crucial services to the nearly two million people the RCMP serves in the

Lower Mainland.

As the Commanding Officer of the BC RCMP, I want the public to know

that the Surrey RCMP and the Integrated Teams, made up of officers from

the RCMP and independent municipal police departments, will continue to

work diligently to maintain public safety.

Until Surrey RCMP is no longer the contracted police service, our

employees must be allowed to and will continue to police safely and

effectively. I will not allow public confidence in policing to be

undermined or eroded. I wish to assure all those engaged in delivering

police services to Surrey that they have my utmost trust and confidence.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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