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Surrey Police Service could be fully in charge within 1 year, Lipinski says

SPS chief talks to media after province orders Surrey to ditch plan to keep RCMP
Surrey Police Service Chief Constable Norm Lipinski. (File photo: Anna Burns)

The Surrey Police Service could be the city’s police of jurisdiction within one year, SPS Chief Constable Norm Lipinski says.

Lipinski spoke to media Wednesday (July 19) after the NDP provincial government ordered the City of Surrey to proceed with the SPS and abandon its plan to retain the Surrey RCMP.

In order to be considered the police of jurisdiction, SPS must have more than 300 front-line officers. SPS currently has 230 front-line officers, Lipinksi said, adding the force hopes to hire 100 to 125 more this year.

“I think we could do that in less than a year but again, there’s a lot of planning and a lot of logistics that go with that,” Lipinksi said.

He added that Surrey RCMP assistant commissioner Brian Edwards gave him a congratulatory call Wednesday.

“We recognize that it’s difficult for both parties on this,” Lipinski said. “It has been difficult for us and remember that in the last number of months, we were looking at the potential of possibly losing our jobs, 400 people, that’s very, very difficult.”

As to if Surrey RCMP officers can transfer to SPS, Lipinksi said, “absolutely.”

“We would be looking to onboard those that apply and meet our threshold,” he said. “But we will also keep in mind, of course, not destabilizing Surrey detachment.”

- With files from Tom Zytaruk

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Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I started with Black Press Media in the fall of 2022 as a multimedia journalist after finishing my practicum at the Surrey Now-Leader.
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