Feds trim RCMP volunteer cops’ duties

Canada's 1,600-member auxiliary constable program — Surrey has 80 — will no longer ride with regular officers

Photo of RCMP Auxiliary Constable Program posted to the RCMP's website.

SURREY — Changes to the national RCMP auxiliary constable program be felt more in Surrey, Canada’s largest detachment, than anywhere else in the country.

At a time when the public is calling for more police to help fight crime in this city roughly 80 volunteer officers — the largest contingent of roughly 1,600 auxiliaries across Canada — learned this week from RCMP headquarters in Ottawa that they will no longer be able to ride with Mounties, receive firearms familiarizing training, and that their uniforms will be changed to better distinguish them from regular officers.

This comes after a year-long review following the fatal January 2015 shooting of Const. David Wynn at a casino outside Edmonton. Auxiliary Const. David Bond, a volunteer police officer since 2008, was also injured.

Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy said the auxiliary program has not been shut down.

“The Surrey RCMP has always maintained that our auxiliary constables play an important role in our community in crime prevention and community engagement and we fully committed to having this vital role continue in our community,” Fordy told the Now.

Fordy noted the auxiliary constables are unarmed volunteers “whose primary purpose is to participate in community policing services such as community engagement and crime prevention.”

But because they are unarmed and work alongside Mounties, he added, “the potential for danger exists.

“Incidents where uniformed officers have been randomly targeted, along with the shooting of an auxiliary constable in Alberta  last year, demonstrated the need for increased vigilance,” Fordy said. “For this reason the RCMP has discontinued the ride along component nationally for the auxiliary officers — I support this approach.”

Cpl. Janelle Shoihet, a spokeswoman for RCMP “E” Division, said the auxiliary constables will continue to perform crime prevention, community engagement and other duties and “considerations are being made to uniform changes, as we recognize that they may be identified as a police officer while on duty in uniform, which puts them at risk of harm.

“When auxiliary constables are in uniform they will need to be accompanied by a regular member who is equipped with intervention options,” Shoihet added.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

One man dead after crash at Highway 10 and 152 Street in Surrey

Pedestrian hit by two vehicles: Surrey RCMP

Replica totem pole to be raised at Peace Arch Park

‘Reconciliation ceremony’ will include SFN leaders, provincial politicians

ELECTION QUESTIONS: Does Surrey need its own police force?

Who’s on the right side of Surrey RCMP’s contract issue debate? That’s for voters to decide on Oct. 20

WEB POLL: Is Surrey a safer city since the last election?

Crime and public safety continue to be hot button election issues

Delta resident raises more than $100K for Easter Seals

Archie Campbell has rappelled down the side of a building six times to raise money for disabled kids

VIDEO: Tour de Valley riders visit Surrey elementary school

Students create signs to support riders

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

VIDEO: Woman files complaint over treatment of cat with two broken legs

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford says her pet was sent home without pain medication

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

Most Read