Union accuses Delta chief of moving to regional policing

Delta Police says closing holding cells will save taxpayers $1 million

Delta Police say moving its holding cells to Surrey headquarters will save taxpayers more than $1 million and will improve the safety of both staff and prisoners. (Pictured: Chief Jim Cessford)

The president of the union representing local municipal workers says he is dismayed by a recommendation by Delta Police Board to close its holding cells and take prisoners to Surrey RCMP headquarters in South Newton.

However, Delta Police say the move will save taxpayers more than $1 million and will improve the safety of both staff and prisoners.

“Our members are concerned about this for several reasons,” said Darryl Robison president of CUPE Local 454. “One is the obvious loss of approximately one full-time and nine part-time positions, but we will also see our Delta police officers taking prisoners to Surrey, which clearly makes them unavailable to respond to events in Delta.”

Robison suggested the move might be a first step toward moving to a regional policing model, pointing out the Delta Police Board is considering contracting out the work of dispatchers and other civilian staff. Both Delta Police Chief Jim Cessford and Mayor Lois Jackson, who serves as chair of the Delta Police Board, have previously stated they don’t support a regional policing model, but Robison said these steps contradict those statements.

Robison said based on statistics collected between 2009 and 2011, the move means there could be more than 1,000 trips to Surrey a year by Delta Police officers.

“That is far too much time away from our community,” said Robison. “Our Delta Police officers should be spending their shift in Delta, not Surrey.”

Delta Police began negotiations with Surrey RCMP last year to have suspects who are being held overnight or longer to be transferred to Surrey. Suspects will remain in Delta holding cells if police plan to release them the same day.

The Surrey facility is located about 4 km from the Delta border, and is significantly closer to North Delta than the existing holding cells in Ladner.

Delta Police deputy chief Rich Drinovz said the local constabulary reviewed its detention facility service and believe that the safety of our staff, officers and the prisoners is not up to standard due to the condition of the facility.

“The costs could range from $1- to $1.5-million to bring the facility up to standard,” he said. “This is not possible at the moment so we are proposing an agreement with the City of Surrey to lodge long term prisoners for the time being.”

The agreement still needs to be approved by Delta Council.

CUPE Local 454 represents over 900 lifeguards, water workers, civilian jail guards, museum workers, gardeners, inspectors, clerks, surveyors, police dispatchers, and other professionals that work for the Corporation of Delta, Delta Police Board, and the Delta Museum and Archives.

Just Posted

OUR VIEW: Surrey councillor’s liquor store pitch is pathetic

On a council that says no to cannabis shops and ride-hailing, Nagra thinks we need more booze stores

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

Canucks’ Diwali Night game gives Surrey’s Heer the thrill of DJ-ing for his favourite team

‘It should be a good game with (Alexander) Ovechkin in town’ on Oct. 25, says Jovan Heer

Shoppers line up for Winners opening at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Popular retail store is second in South Surrey

‘A monumental step’: Surrey Food Bank finds new, much larger home in Newton

The charity is expected to make the move next summer

ELECTION 2019: Climates strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

Most Read