The new Surrey Police department set to replace the RCMP in this city will continue to work with the Lower Mainland’s integrated police teams to maintain continuity in criminal investigations during the transition.
“We will maintain our support for the Lower Mainland integrated teams to ensure continuity of those important services and we will continue that cross-departmental collaboration that occurs through these integrated teams,” said Terry Waterhouse, general manager of the policing transition for the City of Surrey.
Waterhouse said the approach “that has been laid out ensures that current active investigations and criminal proceedings are not adversely impacted during the transition.
“The transition will of course involve close collaboration between the RCMP and the Surrey Police,” Waterhouse said. “Details of this approach are being worked out, but rest assured that the chief constable, once hired by the police board, and the OIC (officer in charge) of the Surrey RCMP, as well as the federal and provincial governments, will be very involved in all aspects of that transition.”
Wally Oppal, the former B.C. Supreme Court judge and attorney general who was appointed by the provincial government to oversee Surrey’s plan to transition to its own police force, noted that “no police department can operate in isolation.”
“They’ll have to form a relationship through the province with the City of Delta, and Port Moody, and Langley and all those other areas,” he said. “So there is a regional component to all of that, and that will all be addressed in due course.
“During the transition period, the RCMP will be here, no doubt about it,” Oppal said. “Eventually Surrey will be managing their own policing department. But as far as IHIT (the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team) and all those other integrated teams are concerned, those are matters that are best left to, for the new police chief, the board and the new police chief and all other people who will be concerned with the managerial issues will be addressed in due course.”