Surrey RCMP held a news conference Friday afternoon (June 16) in response to Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke’s announcement that council has voted to keep them working in the city.
Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards made a statement and fielded questions from reporters at the Surrey RCMP detachment starting at 1:30 p.m., two-and-a-half hours after Locke made an announcement at city hall about the future of policing in Surrey.
“With the city’s direction on policing confirmed, the RCMP is fully prepared and ready to move forward in support of the plan to remain the police force of jurisdiction in the City of Surrey,” Edwards said in a prepared statement.
“I am fully confident in our staffing plan and the RCMP’s ability to staff Surrey detachment in a safe, efficient and measured way that does not negatively impact public safety for provincial RCMP resources in B.C.
“The staffing plan has the full support of the Commissioner of the RCMP and the commanding officer in British Columbia. We do remain committed to working alongside all parties in the policing transition to ensure a co-ordinated approach including, of course, the province of British Columbia.
“My top priority as the Officer in Charge of the Surrey detachment, it remains the same, and that is to ensure public and police officer safety, and deliver excellent community-focused policing in the City of Surrey now and in the future.”
Edwards said the last five years have been challenging for police officers in Surrey, along with support staff.
He added that Surrey RCMP and Surrey Police Service (SPS) officers have worked together over the past year and a half “with the utmost professionalism,” and plans a “seamless continuation of core police services” in Surrey in coming days and weeks.
He said there are 176 SPS officers working in the Surrey detachment compared to 544 RCMP officers working in the city, and that the RCMP goal here is to attract many of the SPS members to the Surrey RCMP.