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OUR VIEW: Surrey policing transition still rudderless

The depth of this mess truly is unfathomable
Surrey Police patch from Twitter Surrey RCMP by Anna Burns

Spectators who sat through Surrey’s council meeting Monday night, or tuned into the livestreamed broadcast, undoubtedly felt like they were watching a galleon sail off the edge of the world and into the abyss as it became painfully apparent no one is captaining the city’s policing transition.

For roughly an hour, council members had Surrey’s two police chiefs on a figurative gang plank, throwing question after supplemental question at Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards and Chief Constable Norm Lipinski about the how’s, why’s, when’s and where’s of what the heck is happening with the transition.

One felt sorry for these two sailors, struggling to provide answers amidst the maelstrom brewed by the admiralty, politicians.

This was after council was presented with a corporate report revealing there is still “no clear plan, or any supporting documents in place, to continue a transition” to the SPS from the Surrey RCMP as this city’s police of jurisdiction.

READ ALSO: Still ‘no clear plan’ to continue transition to Surrey Police Service, report states

Now bear in mind, this transition, with all its twists and turns, was conceived in late 2018, nearly five years ago.

Also bear in mind, epic stacks of Surrey taxpayers’ money has already been burned on this boondoggle – there, we said it – and more is being sucked out of your pockets, reportedly at the rate of $266,000 per day to maintain two police forces.

Mayor Brenda Locke says the City of Surrey is kept out of the loop, and stresses that if the NDP provincial government wants the transition to happen, “it needs to step up, show leadership and do their job.”

Meantime, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s official line is that “The work by the new Strategic Implementation Advisor to advance the transition is well underway.”

Meantime, said advisor Jessica McDonald is unavailable for interviews.

The deeper the sea, the darker it gets.

And so much for transparency. The depth of this mess truly is unfathomable.


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