SURREY — Eighty three of 100 new Mounties promised for Surrey are now on the beat.
Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said 12 more have been identified and will soon join the other officers, leaving five positions left to be filled.
“We’re well ahead of the schedule,” she said.
Surrey’s city council and the provincial government called on the federal government to deploy 100 new Mounties to the city’s streets following a record-breaking increase in light of a record-breaking 25 homicides in 2013, growing fear from residents and a flurry of drive-by shootings in 2015.
The former Conservative government promised to deliver, under intense pressure from then Surrey NDPs Jasbir Sandhu and Jinny Sims, but the question of just when the new officers would arrive, and in what increments, became quite a political football at all levels of government and the resulting information vacuum wore on increasingly impatient Surrey residents as well.
Surrey had been asking Ottawa for more officers since hockey mom Julie Paskall was killed. She was attacked on Dec. 29, 2013 and died two days later.
Approval for 100 new officers for Surrey was given in May 2015.
Contractually, a full 100 new Mounties are to be working in Surrey within 12 months of approval being given.
The Surrey RCMP now has 803 officers.