Surrey RCMP held its first public safety fair at Salish Secondary on Saturday, Nov. 2 (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey’s top cop stresses the importance of community

RCMP held its first public safety fair

Police in Surrey work with 23 community partners but Surrey RCMP’s most important partner is the actual community, says officer-in-charge Dwayne McDonald.

“As police, our mandate is to prevent crime, to intervene in crime and to enforce through law when required, but we cannot do that without the co-operation and the consent of the entire community.”

READ ALSO: Surrey’s top cop Dwayne McDonald is moving on, Oct. 16, 2019

McDonald was speaking to the crowd at the Surrey RCMP’s first public safety fair, held at Salish Secondary on Saturday (Nov. 2), to help kick off National Crime Prevention Week.

At the event, the Surrey RCMP showcased its “collaborative prevention and intervention programs with local partners, and inform the public on how they can get involved in public safety.”

Asked if he thinks residents are aware of the role they play in policing the community, McDonald said he believes the public is aware that “opportunities” exist.

“But sometimes it’s incumbent upon us to encourage and invite people to join in on those opportunities,” he told the Now-Leader. “We all have busy lives… and unless you turn your mind to the engagement opportunities that are out there, sometimes you just get caught up in life. like any event, oftentimes all it takes is an invitation or personal connection and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The idea for the fair, McDonald said, has been in the works for “quite some time.”

“We, always, are looking for ways to get greater engagement, a greater connection. Usually with a bigger venue and you bring in barbecue and food trucks, there’s a much more likelihood that we’ll be able to draw more people in.”

He said that typically in the past, the Surrey RCMP would go out to each individual district in the city and hold smaller meetings.

Community engagement is “very important” to the Surrey RCMP and is one of its “key strategic priorities,” McDonald said.

“The reason is, without an engaged community, that supports the policing efforts that we do, we can’t be effective. In order to understand what you need, and what the public safety priorities are for you, we employ a wide variety of initiatives to engage with you.”

More than a dozen partner organizations were on hand Saturday, including the Surrey school district, Vision Zero Surrey, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, Surrey Urban Mission Society, the Fleetwood and Downtown Surrey business improvement associations and Surrey Fire Service.

“I think all of us are here because we share a basic belief, and that is that we have the right to live in a healthy and a safe community,” McDonald said. “Your presence shows that you have the understanding that the job of protecting and improving public safety doesn’t rest just solely with the police, but it rests with us collectively, as part of a greater community.”

READ ALSO: RCMP’s Project Lavender aims to ‘empower young women and girls’, Nov. 1, 2019



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

OUR VIEW: Wards for Surrey worth a hard look

Ward system divvies up city into neighbourhoods with a council member representing an electoral region

Delta mayor launches new photo contest for kids

Kids can submit photos of their at-home activities for a chance to win gift cards from local businesses

Surrey council sets new rules for Good Citizen of the Year award

Candidates have more hurdles to jump before getting nominated for the prestigious local title

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

Driver maces pedestrian after hit and run in Langley City

Police were on the scene at Michaud Crescent Wednesday morning

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Friends do ‘amazing’ home makeover for retired police officer

Pitt Meadows RCMP veteran was away getting treatment for PTSD

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Most Read