Surrey policing report a “disappointment,” Annis says

Surrey policing report a “disappointment,” Annis says

Councillors Brenda Locke and Jack Hundial also find it wanting

Reactions are coming in on Surrey’s plan to transition from the Surrey RCMP to a made-in-Surrey police force after the city’s 189-page report was released to the public on Monday afternoon, and they are not glowing.

“It is full of assumptions that I think are probably not accurate,” Councillor Brenda Locke told the Now-Leader, “so that is a concern to me. The second thing that screams at me in the report is that it doesn’t show the deficits of the RCMP, so it doesn’t identify why we’re replacing the RCMP with a Surrey police department. I would have liked to see that in the report.”

READ REPORT: Surrey policing transition report released to public

She noted even council members have not had much time to digest the plan, which is now before the provincial government for review.

“I think the worst thing about it is the fact the financials were not done and audited. They were reviewed, but they were not reviewed in a fulsome way. They were not given a comprehensive analysis of the financials, by Price Waterhouse Cooper, they were just given an overview by them so I think that’s probably a big concern.

“The best thing about the report,” she said, followed by a lengthy pause, “I don’t have anything, give me a minute.”

Councillor Jack Hundial, a retired Surrey Mountie said the best thing about the report is it starts the dialogue for better public safety for Surrey.

“It highlights areas where we need to improve, but it also highlights opportunities.”

Scroll down to read the report.

“The worst part, the least favourite part of this, is I don’t see anything in this report that tangibly promotes enhanced public safety from what we have today. I don’t see that in here.”

“I think there’s a lot of boilerplate language in here and a lot of assumptions,” Hundial told the Now-Leader. “It will require a lot of extensive review. I could really see the province taking its time to review this.”

“Looking at this, it looks like it came at a price of quantity and quality.”

Said Locke, “I guess for me the good part about the report is that it was released, and that it was released by the City of Surrey. It was the taxpayers of Surrey that paid for this report.”

Councillor Linda Annis noted that the proposed Surrey Police Department would have 38 fewer police officers than the Surrey RCMP has.

“How can having fewer officers make our city safer,” she asks. She is calling on the provincial government and the city to have a referendum on final plans for a new police department.

“The report is a major disappointment and its approach to policing in our community and neighbourhoods only hurts public safety rather than making us safer,” Annis said.

Mayor Doug McCallum defended the plan during a press conference at city hall Monday afternoon, just two hours after the report was released.

McCallum said an additional $10 million per year for a police force will make Surrey residents feel safer.

“I’ve had zero pushback on this except for a small group,” he said of the plan to transition from RCMP to a Surrey force.

The mayor said Mounties are tapping his shoulder, asking him “When can we join?”

“They would have to apply,” he said.

McCallum described the document as “one of the best” reports he has seen as a politician.

He said the report indicates RCMP is “top heavy” with management, and that 87 per cent of police officers under a new Surrey police force would be constables.

The mayor told reporters he waited two weeks to release the plan because the provincial government wanted to see it first.

He said city councillors had a week to review it.

The City of Surrey’s proposed transition plan to convert from RCMP states the force will “go live” on April 1, 2021 and its operating costs will be $192.5 million that year.

That’s a 10.9 per cent increase from the $173.6 million the city projects the RCMP would cost that year.

There are also an estimated $39.2 million in start-up costs that McCallum said will be split over four years, working out to roughly $10 million per year.

McCallum said “in comparison that’s not even the total of one swimming pool that we just recently built in South Surrey. It’s not even anywhere near the cost of what three rinks we’re going to open cost us in the city. It’s also not even close to our Clayton Community Centre we’re opening. When you look at $10 million a year, in a city budget, operating and capital is over a billion dollars every year. The $10 million is not a very large figure. For the purpose of, it’s going to… help every resident in the City of Surrey feel safer.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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

Just Posted

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council to consider $7.3 million contract for street paving projects tonight

A city staff report recommends Lafarge Canada Inc. be awarded $7,326,667.95 for 15 road projects in North Surrey and one in South Surrey

Luc Bruchet (left), shown here competing at the 2016 Olympics, went under the Olympic qualifying standard in the 5,000-m at the Harry Jerome International Track Classic last weekend in Burnaby. (Laci Perenyi/Sportphoto photo)
Personal-best run launches South Surrey runner back in Olympic contention

At Harry Jerome Classic, Luc Bruchet hits Olympic standard in men’s 5,000-m

Hundreds gathered at Surrey’s Holland Park Friday (June 11) in memory of the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on Sunday (June 6). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Educating public ‘exhausting,’ says White Rock Muslim Association past president

Asad Syed says public needs to be more vocal in their condemnation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Most Read