Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, left, and Mayor-elect Doug McCallum. (Surrey Now-Leader)

WATCH VIDEO: Surrey top cop no longer mum on McCallum’s vow to nix RCMP contract

McCallum said he will initiate the process on his first council meeting, which will be Nov. 19

UPDATE: On Friday, Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Dwayne issued a written statement on the Surrey RCMP Policing Contract. It reads: “As Surrey welcomes a new mayor and council, the Surrey RCMP understands that a new direction for policing will be advanced by the City of Surrey. The decision on what type of police force has is made by the municipality, the province and Public Safety Canada. As the current contracted service provider, the Surrey RCMP will not be a participant in this process. As the officer in charge of Surrey detachment I want to assure all residents that, throughout this process, we will continue to police the City of Surrey with professionalism, integrity and superior service. Our number one priority has always been public safety in Surrey, and it will continue to be our number one priority for as long as we have the honour of being this city’s contracted police force. I believe that our decreasing crime rate, extensive prevention and intervention programs, and community engagement efforts demonstrate that we are doing an excellent job in policing this city and are a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our police officers and municipal employees. I look forward to working with the new mayor and council to enhance public safety in Surrey.”

Surrey’s top cop and newly elected mayor have not spoken following Surrey’s Oct. 20 civic election concerning the latter’s campaign promise to trade out the Surrey RCMP for a new city police force.

The Surrey RCMP, Canada’s largest detachment, replaced the Surrey Police force on May 1, 1951 as the result of a plebiscite and the municipality entered into a cost-sharing agreement with the federal agreement. That contract was renewed for 20 years in the spring of 2012 and is set to expire on March 31, 2032. It carries a clause that the city can opt out with two year’s notice, a process Doug McCallum said he will initiate on his first council meeting, which will be on Nov. 19.

READ ALSO ELECTION QUESTIONS: Does Surrey need its own police force?

Asked Tuesday if he’s met with Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald yet, McCallum replied, “No, I haven’t talked to anybody in the RCMP.

“No, we’re working with different federal people and different provincial people on the political side,” he said. “Because they’re the ones that make the decisions.”

McDonald has not approached him, McCallum added.

“No, no, I haven’t heard from anybody, actually, in the RCMP.”

McDonald has not returned phone calls from the Now-Leader.

Sergeant Chad Grieg, in charge of the detachment’s media relations department, replied on his behalf, saying McDonald is “not speaking on this.”

“Thanks for the phone call,” Greig wrote in a email to the Now-Leader on Tuesday. “Now that a new mayor and council have been elected for the City of Surrey, they will work to confirm what direction they will take with policing in Surrey.

“Ultimately, the decision on what type of police force a city has is made by the city, province, and in the case of the RCMP, the federal government. As the current contracted police agency for Surrey, we do not get involved in this decision or debate, short of providing information to help inform the decision.

“It is important to note that no decisions or changes have been made at this point,” Greig added. “Right now our job continues to be policing the City of Surrey. It is a job our members and staff are fully committed to and one we do proudly.”

Bill Blair, federal minister of border security and organized crime reduction, said at a meeting at Surrey’s Grand Taj banquet hall before the election that he won’t stand in Surrey’s way if it decides to part ways with the RCMP.

“The decision on how Surrey should be policed is a decision for Surrey,” Blair said.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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