The first group of 50 Surrey Police Service officers will be patrolling our city streets by Nov. 30 or perhaps even earlier, marking a milestone in the transition from the Surrey RCMP to the city’s own police force.
“We anticipate at least 40 would be uniformed officers (on the road) and another 10 that would be doing kind-of investigative detective work alongside the Surrey RCMP,” SPS spokesman Ian MacDonald said Tuesday.
Under a phased, integrated process agreed upon between Public Safety Canada, the provincial government and City of Surrey, the SPS officers will be assigned to positions in the Surrey RCMP, which continues to have policing jurisdiction of the city.
“This is an exciting time for the Surrey Police Service as we prepare to deploy our first officers into policing operations this fall,” Chief Constable Norm Lipinski said. “We look forward to working with the Surrey RCMP during this phased transition as we work together to ensure the continuing safety of Surrey residents.”
The plan is to have more officers follow, as the phasing-in gains momentum, throughout 2022 and 2023.
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, chairman of the Surrey Police Board, said there has been “a lot of careful planning and collaboration with all levels of government that has helped us reach this important milestone.
“I want to extend my sincere appreciation to all the members of the Surrey Policing Transition Trilateral Committee and working groups for their continued hard work on making this policing transition a reality,” he added.
Meantime, the Surrey Police Union has been officially certified by the British Columbia Labour Relations Board, with Rick Stewart as interim president. Stewart served as president of the Abbotsford Police Union before joining the SPS. CUPE 402 continues to represent the unionized civilian staff.