Ask the Surrey RCMP

You wanted to know about: illegal smoking, police sirens, boots on the ground and why the Mounties don't 'serve and protect' anymore.

Ask the Surrey RCMP is Q&A column where police officers from the Surrey detachment will answer questions submitted by The Leader’s readers.

“We know that you have questions about policing – whether it be a question about a specific law, how to protect yourself, or how we respond to certain calls. Together with The Leader, we will endeavour to answer your questions so the entire community can have a better understanding of how the police and residents can work together to reduce crime in their neighbourhoods,” said Chief Supt. Bill Fordy, Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP.

Do you have a question you want answered? Email it to newsroom@surreyleader.com

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You asked:

What is the RCMP’s position on enforcement of the no-smoking bylaws at Surrey transit exchanges such as Surrey Central, Newton Exchange, Scottsdale and Scott Road Station?

cigarette

It is so bad and numerous complaints to transit police, the mayor and bylaw enforcement are not acted on. I should be able to take my kids and wait for a bus without

being subject to the cigarette smoke. There is no fear of fines or repercussions.

– Murray Grenier

RCMP answers:

Although RCMP officers do have the authority to enforce city bylaws, our primary focus is on enforcing Criminal Code laws to ensure public safety. The City of Surrey has its own Bylaws Enforcement Officers that work with the community to achieve complian

ce with various bylaws to improve the quality of life for citizens of and visitors to the City of Surrey.

For this type of complaint it’s helpful to provide dates and times that you have witnessed these infractions taking place. This will help bylaw officers focus their patrols during these times.

Like police, bylaw officers rely on feedback from the public to ensure effective law enforcement, and encourage anyone who witnesses infractions to contact the City of Surrey Bylaw Enforcement and Licensing Division: 604-591-4370 (seven days a week) or BylawComplaints@surrey.ca.

– Cpl. Scotty Schumann

 

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You asked:

I have an observation that I would like to see addressed. I notice that the RCMP turn on their sirens when approaching an intersection with a red light and then turn them off again once through the lights.

I am aware there are times this would be necessary. I am not referring to emergency calls.

I live in a residential area between 88 and 74 Avenues on 152 Street. Is this really necessary? Along with the large semi-trucks that use their engine brakes at all hours, the noise pollution gets to be unbearable.

Perhaps the RCMP traffic division could address this problem and go after the semi-trucks that break the law. I have contacted Surrey bylaws but they have a problem finding a place to park their vehicles so they can monitor the situation. (Ambulances and fire trucks do this as well).

– Myrna Korman

RCMP answers:

Emergency vehicles, driven primarily by police, fire and paramedics, are governed by the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), just like everyone else. Whenever regulations in the Act have to be contravened, lights and sirens must be used by first responders.

There is an exception to this requirement and that is if the use of lights and sirens would prevent the first responder from safely doing their job. For police, this is a common occurrence when we are trying to conceal our approach to a dangerous situation, for example. Officers have to continually weigh the risks versus the gain when contravening the MVA and never want to unnecessarily put the public or themselves in harm’s way.

Regarding truckCpl. Scotty Schumann engine brakes, 152 Street is a main arterial road as well as a designated truck route between 16 Avenue and Highway 1. As a result, the traffic volume on 152 Street is heavier than most other routes, resulting in higher levels of noise.

The most common statute regarding engine brake use in the city is Section 57 of city bylaws, which prohibits engine brake use to slow or stop a vehicle except in an emergency.

Our Traffic Enforcement Unit has the authority to enforce this city bylaw; however, the unit’s primary focus is on their mandate to reduce fatal and serious injury collisions by using intelligence-led enforcement.

We do work together with the City of Surrey’s Bylaw Enforcement Officers and B.C. Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement Officers to enforce many laws surrounding commercial vehicles.

– Cpl. Scotty Schumann (pictured above)

 

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You asked:

Out of approximately 800 officers in the RCMP Surrey detachment, how many are actually out on patrol at any one time? I have read the number is as low as 36 officers. What is the number and why so low?

– Anthony Rose

RCMP answers:

For many people, their first point of contact with the Surrey RCMP is when they call for service and a General Duty (GD) patrol officer attends to investigate their complaint. The number of GD officers on shift at any one time fluctuates around the peak periods of calls for service and is not indicative of the number of units available to respond to a call for service.

For officer safety reasons, we do not release the number of police officers on duty at any time. However, it is important to note that there are many officers on duty at any one time well beyond those you see on patrol. These include our specialized units such as Traffic Services, Bike Unit, Special Victims Unit, Crime Reduction Units, Drug Section, Surrey Gang Enforcement Team, Robbery Unit, and Investigative Services.

The Surrey RCMP is also supported by Lower Mainland Integrated Units, including Police Dog Services (PDS), Emergency Response Team (ERT), Air 1, and others.

All of these units all have specific mandates, but their primary role is ensuring the safety and security of our citizens, and all are available to support our on-duty patrol officers.

– Cpl. Scotty Schumann

 

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You asked:

Years ago police cars displayed the motto, “to serve and protect.” Would it not be a good message and good public relations to reintroduce this motto?

– Peter Scott

 

RCMP answers:

The motto of the RCMP, Canada’s national police force, is “Maintiens le droit,” which translates to “defend the law.” Our motto forms part of our heraldic badge or crest that makes our cap badge, uniform shoulder flashes and marked vehicle door stickers. All of our officers strive to uphold that motto in a professional and accountable way.

While “to serve and protect” may not be our official motto, it is certainly the core of what we do – we work every day to serve and protect the citizens, business owners and visitors of the City of Surrey.

Indeed, our mission statement reflects these values: To provide a sensitive, responsive, professional policing service, cooperatively with the community, to enhance the level of security and liveability in the City of Surrey, within a healthy work environment.

– Cpl. Scotty Schumann

 

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