A twitter exchange between a Surrey city councillor and whoever is behind the Surrey Police Union account underlines what seems like a never-ending conflict between those who support the Surrey RCMP and those who support the Surrey Police Service.
It stemmed from a post about a constable who changed her mind about serving with the SPS and returned to her former employer, the New Westminster Police.
“Looks like the exit has begun,” Coun. Jack Hundial, who is opposed to the policing transition, tweeted out. When @surreypolunion replied that “threatening jobs and loitering around recruit exam centres is unprofessional,” Hundial replied “put a sock in it & grow a pair…” and “Email me & meet me face 2 face.”
In reply, @surreypolunion said the former Surrey Mountie’s comments “are artifacts of a toxic police culture that fostered bullying and harrassment.”
And so on.
Asked how many SPS officers have gone back to their original police departments, other than the one who returned to NWPD, Hundial told the Now-Leader he’s “had about three people I know that went there, that have reached out about they’re considering coming back to the RCMP.”
Hundial said he “was not at all” seeking in his tweet a physical confrontation but a face-to-face, “honest dialogue, just reach out and communicate” rather than commenting through a social media account.
“I mean, have the courage to come and have that conversation, really,” he said, adding he’d like to find out who he’s been arguing with. “If you’re going to represent law enforcement, stand up and represent them properly. You don’t see this sort of behavior coming from other organizations.”
As a City Counsellor, you have the same obligation to support SPS members as the Mayor does to support our RCMP officers. Everyone is working to improve our community. Threatening jobs and loitering around recruit exam centres is unprofessional.
— Surrey Police Union (@surreypolunion) November 24, 2021
1. these recruits reached out to me – do your research (or talk to your mbrs & not just collect dues & hide in Twitter)
2. put a sock in it & grow a pair.. your supposed to be an officer, OR
Email me & meet me face 2 face Jack.email@example.com @SurreyRCMP @npffpn #waiting
— Jack Hundial (@JackHundial) November 24, 2021
Ian MacDonald, media liaison officer for the SPS, said so far one constable has left the SPS. As for who is behind the Surrey Police Union twitter account, he replied “I don’t think it’s a single individual, I think it’s a shared responsibility amongst the union executive.”
“I daresay I think things have been ugly on twitter for a while,” he said. “Just anecdotally, when people are going after my dog…”
“The person who made the comment obviously follows me on twitter to an alarming degree.”
He said he tweeted about his dog needing surgery, and someone posted a tweet asking if Surrey taxpayers are going to be on the hook for the dog’s medical procedures too?
“I mean, oh man, like we have jumped the shark here.”
In any human conflict, some creative license with the truth can be expected. But the gulf between both sides in this one is profound.
According to the SPS, survey results released last week reveal only six per cent of Surrey residents want to keep the RCMP.
On Monday, the National Police Federation, which represents the RCMP in collective bargaining, revealed that a recent survey indicates 84 per cent have a “favourable impression” and 76 per cent “agree the transition should be halted until a more detailed accounting and full costs can be considered.”
You’ll have to be the judge.