Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis. (File photo)

Surrey needs more Mounties now, city councillor says

Linda Annis says public safety cannot be put on hold while city forms its own police force

Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says the city still needs to hire more Mounties regardless of plans to set up its own police force.

She says public safety cannot be put on hold.

“The officer in charge for Surrey detachment had made a recommendation that we need 150 officers over the next five years and I believe that that’s very reasonable, that would provide him with the manpower that’s needed to adequately police Surrey,” Annis told the Now-Leader. “That’s minimal, based on the rapid growth Surrey is experiencing.”

The proposed budget, unveiled Dec. 3, suggests that no RCMP will be added to the current force, which has 843 members currently, given the city’s intended transition to a municipal force. In 2018, 12 officers were hired.

Even without hiring any new officers, the city is looking at an additional $4.81 million in policing for costs such as the annualization of the 12 positions added this year, salary increases, operations and maintenance costs, and increased funding for integrated teams. Another $1.38 million in expenses is expected for RCMP support services.

READ ALSO: Policing in Surrey — what exactly is the plan?

“The idea that we’re not going to hire any new officers until we have our own police department makes absolutely no sense, particularly since the RCMP have identified the need for 150 new officers over the next five years as Surrey continues to grow,” said Annis, the lone Surrey First member of the Safe Surrey Coalition-dominated council.

Annis said in a press release Monday that public safety was a major concern for voters during the civic election and freezing the hiring of new officers until the new police department is set up “flies in the face of that concern and the very real need for more officers right away.

She noted that Surrey’s population is growing by about 300 families each month and geographically is as large as Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond combined.

Annis noted that Vancouver has roughly 1,400 police officers, making for one cop for every 451 Vancouver residents whereas Surrey’s current ratio is one for every 667 residents.

“By freezing hiring we’re going to make that ratio even worse, which means public safety is going to be jeopardized and that’s reckless and unacceptable,” Annis said. “Creating a Surrey police department is going to take time and resources, it’s not going to happen overnight. Meanwhile, city council has to make sure we provide the police and resources Surrey needs today.

— with a file by Amy Reid.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

City CouncilCity of Surreysurrey rcmp

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service — will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

White Rock brewery turns up the (alcohol by) volume in COVID-19 fight

3 Dogs Brewing is making hand sanitizer for frontline workers, general public

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

Fraser Valley auto sound business starts producing face shields

Certified Auto Sound & Security is doing what it can to help frontline healthcare workers.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Most Read