(Photo submitted by Surrey Police Service)

(Photo submitted by Surrey Police Service)

Opinion

COLUMN: On behalf of Surrey Police Service, thank you for your support and input in 2022

As SPS Chief Constable, I wish all Surrey residents and business owners a safe holiday season

As the spotlight stays trained on the future of policing in Surrey, Surrey Police Service (SPS) is continuing to support frontline policing while we await the provincial decision on city council’s proposal to retain the RCMP.

This is a truly unprecedented situation that involves the approval of a police transition, launch of a new police service and hiring of 375 people, followed by a request to reverse course – all in less than four years.

There is no doubt that this is a difficult time for everyone who works in policing in Surrey, regardless of the uniform. But there is also no doubt that we all want what is best to support public and officer safety in this community – both for today and for the future.

In the meantime, it is important that SPS continues with its responsibility to provide policing services for Surrey, in support of the provincially approved transition plan.

We have an obligation to continue with the deployments laid out in the plan, as the injection of our SPS officers are needed to maintain an appropriate policing response for Surrey.

The province has requested plans from the City of Surrey, RCMP and SPS in order to make its decision on the path forward for policing in Surrey. SPS’s report will include information on our human resources, financials, recruiting capacity, and the significant progress we have made towards becoming the police of jurisdiction in just two years. This report will be submitted before Christmas.

I think it is safe to say that we all want a timely resolution to this matter, and we are hopeful that will happen early in the new year. While the decision will ultimately rest with the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, everyone at SPS hopes to continue to have the opportunity to serve Surrey with a modern, accountable police service.

In other news, Nov. 29 marked the first anniversary of SPS’s first operational deployment. I am proud of all of the officers who have deployed over the past year. Collectively, they have responded to thousands of calls for service – saving lives, protecting the vulnerable, conducting investigations, and helping to make Surrey safer.

From day one, Surrey Police Service has been designed for Surrey. You can see it in the people we have hired, how we communicate, and what we prioritize in our daily work.

If we are fortunate enough to become Surrey’s police of jurisdiction, you will see it reflected in the programs we will offer to keep you and your families safe, our responsiveness to local issues, and the long-term relationships our officers will build within the community.

I wish all Surrey residents and business owners a peaceful and safe holiday season, and I thank you for the support and input you have provided to SPS in 2022.

Norm Lipinski is the Chief Constable of the Surrey Police Service.



edit@surreynowleader.com

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