Jim Cessford says he’d come out of retirement “at the drop of a dime” to be chief of Surrey’s new police force.
The provincial government has yet to deliver a verdict on Surrey’s plan to swap out the RCMP for a made-in-Surrey police force, the report of which was released to the public this week.
According to the report, Surrey’s chief constable should be hired 19 to 21 months prior to the “planned go-live date” of April 1, 2021, for the new Surrey police force. That would be sometime between July to September, 2019.
“I’d do that at the drop of a dime,” Cessford told the Now-Leader. “I think that would be really interesting. I actually have had phone calls from quite a few police officers saying if you’re going, we’re coming with you. I said I’m not sure I’m going to be going anywhere, but I said if I do go, I’d truly be calling on them and saying let’s go.”
Cessford was Delta’s chief constable for 22 years before he retired in 2015. Prior to being hired by Delta in 1995, he was superintendent in charge of Edmonton police’s downtown division. He has also been recognized as an expert hostage negotiator. In 2009 he was named Delta Citizen of the Year.
“If you’ve got the right people in place, you could really do a bang-up job there,” he said of the proposed Surrey Police force and position of chief constable.
Cessford said after reading the 189-page Surrey Policing Transition Report that he was “familiar with a lot of the information in there” and that it was “very well done.”
“I think it captured everything they needed to talk about. They didn’t leave a stone unturned, it was very well done. I certainly don’t have any criticisms. They’ve captured the essence of what needs to be done there.
“It’s almost like a paint-by-numbers for a new management group to go in there.”