Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, left and former attorney general Wally Oppal. (Now-Leader file photos)


LETTER: Oppal should delay Surrey’s policing plan until we can vote in new mayor

In case of transition plan, red tape and bureaucracy might actually save Surrey’s skin

The Editor,

Normally I would be opposed to both bureaucracy and red tape.

However, in the case of the Wally Oppal’s review of the plan to replace the RCMP with a Surrey Police Department (SPD) I would say, “Bring it on.”

Hopefully Oppal will take so long that we have the opportunity to vote in a mayor who listens to their constituents.

I would also hope that Oppal will look into the following:

  • Why have Surrey citizens been kept in the dark on the details of the plan?
  • Why are Surrey citizens not being allowed to vote on whether they want this plan to proceed once they have been given the plan details?
  • Why does Mayor Doug McCallum think the proposed 805 SPD officers can do a better job than 843 RCMP officers?

If the RCMP were given the 10.9 per cent anticipated annual increase that the SPD will cost, this would amount to 91 more RCMP officers, which would bring the total to 934, compared to the proposed 805 SPD officers. This does not, of course, include the close to $40 million in estimated start up costs for the SPD.

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

McCallum is also planning to hire based on “affirmative action” that is to say based on ethnicity, religion, etc., which has no place in the hiring practises of a police force and should be based on experience and competency. Affirmative action leads to mediocrity, the last thing that a police force needs.

Finally, given the fact that McCallum’s cost estimates for the SkyTrain were not even close to reality, I am also hoping that Oppal will look closely at the cost estimates.

McCallum’s estimates appear to be based more on wishful thinking than actual facts.

Ken Harrap, Surrey

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