OUR VIEW: Hiring more police officers is not a panacea

Will having more police arrest the occurrence of gang violence in Surrey? Very unlikely

Well here we go again.

Surrey RCMP’s officer in charge, Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, is poised to ask city council for a significant bump-up in the number of Mounties policing our streets.

Is it necessary? Very likely. Will having more police arrest the occurrence of gang violence in Surrey? Very unlikely. It’s a societal problem police alone cannot fix, and it’s unfair to expect that having more officers on patrol will eliminate gang violence.

McDonald will be the latest in a succession of Surrey top cops who have gone to council with cap in hand, seeking to deploy more boots. This has been going on for decades and still we have shootings.

READ ALSO: Rally aims to get Surrey’s leaders ‘off their behinds’ to make city safer from gangs

READ ALSO: Anti-gang rally draws thousands to Surrey City Hall

The call for more police typically comes on the heels of a high-profile tragedy – in this case the murders of two teens – and, also typically, the mass rally that is inevitably held in its wake to mobilize politicians and police to fix the situation.

While Surrey does need more police, history teaches us it will never reach parity with Vancouver. The City of Surrey’s projected population in 2018 is 544,230. There are 835 Mounties in Surrey, making for one officer per 652 residents. Fifty-eight of those officers, however, are seconded to integrated teams such as IHIT. That leaves 777 Surrey detachment officers, or one cop per 700 residents.

Vancouver has 1,327 officers policing a population of 631,486. So its police officers to residents ratio is always more ideal compared to Surrey’s. Why should Surrey be Vancouver’s poor cousin when it comes to policing strength?

We hope McDonald is successful in his bid but it’s important to recognize this is very much a cyclical thing, akin to bailing water in a leaking boat.

We need to embrace the reality that hiring more officers is not a panacea to making Surrey safer.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Dwayne McDonald Surrey RCMP Mounties council gang violence

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

Just Posted

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

New collective debuts with Crescent Beach show

Nela Hallwas and Lyn Verra-Lay team for ‘Flow’

Police ask for help to identify suspect in alleged Surrey break-and-enter

Surrey RCMP say two men ‘kicked down the front door’ of the home

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

Art’s Scarecrow Festival to return in September

Sixth annual event will be different than previous events because of the pandemic

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Large missing python found ssssafe in Victoria after being on the lam for weeks

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

Most Read