Surrey RCMP on scene of a drive-by shooting in Fleetwood on Nov. 12, in the 8000-block of 153A Street. (File photo: Shane Mackichan)

Surrey RCMP on scene of a drive-by shooting in Fleetwood on Nov. 12, in the 8000-block of 153A Street. (File photo: Shane Mackichan)

Surrey public event to explore transition from RCMP to city police force

Surrey Board of Trade continuing its ‘Hot Topic Dialogue Series’ with this issue, on Tuesday Jan. 29

The Surrey Board of Trade is continuing its “Hot Topic Dialogue Series” on Tuesday Jan. 29 with a look at Surrey’s transition from the RCMP to its own city police force.

“The Surrey Board of Trade offers this forum to dialogue on this topic and contribute ideas to the business organization’s advocacy agenda,” said Anita Huberman, its CEO. “We want to seek the input of our panelists and those from the audience on what would be better outcomes for public safety in Surrey.”

At council’s inaugural meeting on Nov. 5, 2018 it served notice to the provincial and federal governments that Surrey is ending its contract with the RCMP – which has policed these parts since May 1, 1951 – to set up its own force. Dr. Terry Waterhouse, who has served as Surrey’s general manager of public safety, was appointed by Mayor Doug McCallum to oversee the process.

A couple of days after the election Huberman told the Now-Leader, “We want the RCMP to stay in Surrey.”

Points up for discussion at this breakfast-time public event, at the Civic Hotel (13475 Central Ave.), are the costs and benefits of a city police force compared to keeping the RCMP, transparency of the transition process and training and “infrastructure” for a city police force.

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Panelists include retired RCMP Assistant Commissioner and Surrey top cop Fraser MacRae and Kash Heed, a former solicitor general and public safety minister of B.C.

Register for the free event online at businessinsurrey.com or by calling 604-581-7130.