Surrey city council voted to hire five new bylaw enforcement officers on Monday.
Councillor Brenda Locke asked how this fits into the city’s hiring freeze.
Rob Costanzo, general manager of corporate services for the city, replied that “the appointment was made prior to the pandemic in February, so this is carrying that out at this time.”
A clerk’s report says four have been appointed as Community Patrol Officers effective from May 1, 2020 until September 15, 2020.
The Surrey RCMP in partnership with Surrey’s bylaws enforcement division on March 26 established the joint COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team, or CCET, According to a corporate report, to perform compliance checks on businesses and residents concerning social distancing and self-isolation requirements in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading.
According to a corporate report, between May 20 and June 9 the CCET did 15,112 checks and as a result recorded 230 instances of non-compliance with the provincial health officer’s directions. They majority of cases of non-compliance – 182 – were in city parks. Of the remainder, 24 were at businesses such as retail stores, 16 at industrial sites, three were at private residences, two were at “Essential Business Services (i.e. Grocery stores, banks), one was at a “faith based institution,” and one was at a school yard.