Clearly, by the response of Surrey residents who went to the city’s first so-called public consultation session hoping to learn more – anything more – on the City of Surrey’s plan to swap the RCMP out for a made-in-the-city police force, the city needs to get its act together before it completely loses the field on this one.
The frustration was palpable at this first in a series, held in Cloverdale on May 23, as residents hoping to be enlightened about this plan, which remains under wraps, were instead met with glossy posters, a “Surrey Police” car and a suggestions, or “ideas” box.
There were no reports to be pored over, no presentations summarizing the plan.
The second session will be held in Fleetwood this Wednesday afternoon and early evening, to be followed by others in Whalley, Bridgeview, Guildford and South Surrey.
For some reason, a session has not been scheduled for Newton.
Hopefully the city will improve on what it’s delivering. Otherwise, it should call these events what they really are – superficial information sessions, with sparse offerings at that.
Mayor Doug McCallum said in a prepared statement last week, “I urge our residents to come out and help us shape their Surrey Police Department.”
This was after Surrey’s completed transition plan was already forwarded to the provincial government for review.
It’s difficult, to say the least, to offer well-reasoned ideas when you’re operating in a vacuum. Kind of like being a film critic on deadline, writing a report on a movie you haven’t yet seen.
What good would that be?
It’s indeed concerning when Jack Hundial, one of the mayor’s running mates in the last election who agrees secrecy has hamstrung what should be a public consultation process, muses out loud that “It makes me question if that was the intent behind it.”