Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP, Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald. (Submitted photo)

Policing transition

Surrey’s top cop says ‘if you want more boots on the ground, give me more boots’

Dwayne McDonald gets things ‘off chest’ during first police awards since council voted to nix RCMP

Surrey’s top cop says he’s “going to snap” if he has to “listen to one more ex-chief of police on life support, or some fallen-from-grace former public official with an axe to grind, or uninformed academic, call into question the integrity and the professionalism and the dedication of the men and women of the Surrey RCMP.”

Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald made the comments during the 2019 Police Officer of the Year Awards on Thursday (Oct. 10). It was the first time the awards have been held since Surrey council voted to transition from RCMP to a municipal force last November.

As a police force, McDonald said “you often battle perception versus reality.”

“And yes, you become a target and a lightning rod for criticism – some deserved and some not,” he said.

“Policing a large city, we’ve been doing it since 1951. And I would challenge any other large city in this country, to police with the resources that we do, and do a better job. And just saying, if you want more boots on the ground, give me more boots. Gotta get that off my chest, I digress.”

SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: Surrey Mounties, staff and others celebrated at 23rd police awards

READ MORE: Mayor ‘comfortable’ Surrey will be safe with no new cops next year (Dec. 19, 2018)

SEE ALSO: First look at Surrey’s policing transition report

In last year’s budget cycle, Surrey council voted to freeze the hiring of any new officers for the Surrey RCMP in 2019, despite McDonald requesting more Mounties be added to the force.

In 2018, 12 officers were hired which brought the force to 843 members.

The Now-Leader contacted the Mayor’s Office Friday morning to inquire if the mayor intended to continue the freeze in this year’s budget cycle, which is underway right now. This story will be updated if a response is received.

Last year, as council considered the budget, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said he and the majority of council are “comfortable that the RCMP will continue to keep Surrey safe,” despite the hiring freeze in the budget that was approved in a split 5-4 vote last December.

McDonald told the Now-Leader at the time that while he feels “confident the city is safe,” he said Surrey “could be safer” with increased resources.

“I think that we could be safer in the sense that an increase in resources will allow us to expand many of our successful programs, certainly in the areas of proactive policing and also with our gang enforcement team and just in general duty patrol and traffic where we see all of our significant concerns,” McDonald said.

The Officer in Charge has also said the “Surrey RCMP could use a significant increase in police and supporting resources in order to keep pace with the city’s growth and to meet legitimate public expectations.”

-With files from Tom Zillich

Just Posted

Body found after fire at Surrey gas station

Fire crews called to the 8700-block of Harvie Road, in Port Kells

Once shy, Surrey maker of cakes finds confidence to show skills on TV and at big events

Raveena Oberoi of Just Cakes Bakeshop is a guest speaker at Vancouver Fall Home Show this week

Minor injuries after South Surrey student struck in school crosswalk

Collision ‘a reminder to drivers, pedestrians to take safety seriously’

North Delta students collect over 16,000 items during annual one-night food drive

Items collected during Delview Secondary’s annual Thanks 4 Giving benefit Deltassist, Surrey Food Bank

Surrey tops list of most delayed, congested TransLink bus routes

TransLink says delays are costing $75 million a year

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

VIDEO: Depth and scoring lacking for Vancouver Giants this season: Coach

G-Men defeated on home ice Sunday by Victoria – next up Everett on Friday

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

Most Read