Surrey Police Board on a patio at city hall, in a photo posted to surreypolice.ca.

Surrey Police Board to start ‘reporting publicly’ on budget numbers in November

Board must submit provisional Surrey Police Operational/Transition budget for 2021 to the City of Surrey by Nov. 30

Surrey residents craving to know just how much the city’s transition process from the Surrey RCMP to a city-made Surrey Police Service will cost taxpayers will have to wait a while longer to find out.

Surrey Police Board member Elizabeth Model said Tuesday that the board must submit a provisional Surrey Police Operational/Transition budget for 2021 to the City of Surrey by Nov. 30, as is required under the Police Act.

During the board’s third meeting so far Model, chairwoman of the finance committee, also said the board’s finance committee has met with city staff “on several occasions” to review year-to-date 2020 budget numbers related to the policing transition.

“We will start reporting publicly on those numbers in November once we’ve had the opportunity to review an ongoing report template and ensure it meets our needs and it gives the public, Surrey citizens and the business community the information we want and we deserve,” she said.

That means anyone hoping to learn how much the Surrey policing transition has cost taxpayers to date will have to wait until after the Oct. 24 provincial election has come and gone.

Shortly after Tuesday’s meeting got underway, under Questions and Answers – Emails from Citizens, resident Debi Johnstone inquired of the board how much has been spent to date on the transition and if there are any updates on final costing for taxpayers. Model replied that this would be covered when she presented her report on interim financial measures later in the meeting.

READ ALSO: Civilian oversight of Surrey police deemed ‘fundamental’

“As for the 2021 budget, the finance committee will be working with the city to ratify that budget,” Model said. “When the chief is hired they will have the input regarding next year’s costs and the budget and it can be amended up to and until March 2021. The 2021 budget will be submitted to council by Nov. 30 and this is based on legislative requirements” under the Police Act.

“As with any budgeting exercise, this information will be made public once approved by city council,” she said. “Unfortunately in its draft form, it is not appropriate for the board to release this information,” Model said.

Model said, concerning the next steps for the 2021 budget, that the board and City will collaborate on three tasks, namely, to determine the “compensation and related overhead” for various positions and levels in the new police department, to verify requirements for one-time transition costs for the balance of the transition, and to confirm and ratify the Surrey Police Operational/Transition budget for 2021 so the provisional budget deadline can be met.

“The budget is reviewed by council. The City of Surrey is responsible for the final reading, for the fees, rates, budget and bylaws, and Nov. 30 is the statutory requirement for the police board to submit their financial plan,” Model said.

“The chief constable will have the direct input put in place for appropriate financial policies and procedures,” she said.

READ ALSO: Horgan says Surrey mayor opened ‘hornets’ nest’ with Surrey policing transition

READ ALSO: Liberal leader says referendum on Surrey’s policing transition would be in first half of 2021

The chief has yet to be identified.

Once he or she is hired, the chief will provide direction to “ensure appropriate financial policies and procedures” that support the new police force, including ensuring “best practice” in budget management and managing the transition and establishment costs. Model noted the chief’s duties will also include building an integrated financial management system, ensuring financial reporting requirements are met and establishing the police service financial management support model.

The next police board meeting is Nov. 20.

Meantime, Ivan Scott, organizer of the Keep the RCMP in Surrey campaign, says he’s still waiting for some transparency.

“I thinks it’s becoming a bit of a sham, to be quite honest,” he said. “I know that there’s been thousands of questions, virtually thousands of letters that have been sent to the board from very, very concerned citizens.

“I just don’t know where this whole thing is going,” Scott said. “It was supposed to be transparent and there’s no transparency basically any more.”

At Surrey council’s inaugural meeting on Nov. 5th, 2018 it served notice to the provincial and federal governments it is ending its contract with the RCMP – which has policed these parts since May 1, 1951 – to set up its own force. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth on Aug. 22, 2019 gave the city the go-ahead to pursue the plan.

The Surrey Police Service is expected to have 805 police officers, 325 civilian employees,and 20 community safety personnel who will take on lower priority, less risky, and less complex duties in order to” better leverage” frontline officers, All told, 84 per cent of the officers will be constables.

Surrey RCMP, in comparison, has 1,145 employees, 843 of which are police officers.

Model said Tuesday that civilian staff will transfer over to the Surrey Police Service in 2021.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

City of SurreyPolicesurrey rcmp

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

Just Posted

World War II veteran, and former POW, Hans Andersen is seen at his home in Maple Ridge Oct. 21, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
WWII veteran Hans Andersen recalls his time fighting in Europe

99-year-old Maple Ridge resident places a wreath at Cloverdale Cenotaph each year

Fraser Health Authority closed Valhalla Distribution/MSJ Distribution in Delta on Oct. 3, 2020 after 23 employees at the facility tested positive for COVID-19. (Google Maps screenshot)
Fraser Health says outbreaks over at Surrey meat-processing facility, Delta distribution centre

Health authority says it worked with facilities ‘to strengthen their COVID-19 mitigation strategies’

Students at Janice Churchill Elementary count the ballots following the school election on Oct. 26, 2018. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Local Student Vote mirrors Surrey’s election results

Nearly 8,000 students voted in mock election

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, with another at Sullivan Heights

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

This Halloween display by a Maple Ridge family, seen here Oct. 31 in the 23600 block of 119 Avenue, has been the target of social media complaints that it is racially insensitive. (Black Press Media)
Halloween gallows display by B.C. family slammed as racially insensitive by social media critics

Refers to medieval times, not Black lynchings, says man responsible

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

Hay bales can be donated to Critter Care Wildlife Society. (Critter Care/Special to The Star)
Straw bales used for Halloween decor can be donated to Critter Care Wildlife Society

Langley animal facility said they are always need in of fresh bedding

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’: Animal activists set to enter not guilty plea in Abbotsford hog farm case

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Most Read