Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis. (File photo)

Surrey needs more Mounties now, city councillor says

Linda Annis says public safety cannot be put on hold while city forms its own police force

Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says the city still needs to hire more Mounties regardless of plans to set up its own police force.

She says public safety cannot be put on hold.

“The officer in charge for Surrey detachment had made a recommendation that we need 150 officers over the next five years and I believe that that’s very reasonable, that would provide him with the manpower that’s needed to adequately police Surrey,” Annis told the Now-Leader. “That’s minimal, based on the rapid growth Surrey is experiencing.”

The proposed budget, unveiled Dec. 3, suggests that no RCMP will be added to the current force, which has 843 members currently, given the city’s intended transition to a municipal force. In 2018, 12 officers were hired.

Even without hiring any new officers, the city is looking at an additional $4.81 million in policing for costs such as the annualization of the 12 positions added this year, salary increases, operations and maintenance costs, and increased funding for integrated teams. Another $1.38 million in expenses is expected for RCMP support services.

READ ALSO: Policing in Surrey — what exactly is the plan?

“The idea that we’re not going to hire any new officers until we have our own police department makes absolutely no sense, particularly since the RCMP have identified the need for 150 new officers over the next five years as Surrey continues to grow,” said Annis, the lone Surrey First member of the Safe Surrey Coalition-dominated council.

Annis said in a press release Monday that public safety was a major concern for voters during the civic election and freezing the hiring of new officers until the new police department is set up “flies in the face of that concern and the very real need for more officers right away.

She noted that Surrey’s population is growing by about 300 families each month and geographically is as large as Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond combined.

Annis noted that Vancouver has roughly 1,400 police officers, making for one cop for every 451 Vancouver residents whereas Surrey’s current ratio is one for every 667 residents.

“By freezing hiring we’re going to make that ratio even worse, which means public safety is going to be jeopardized and that’s reckless and unacceptable,” Annis said. “Creating a Surrey police department is going to take time and resources, it’s not going to happen overnight. Meanwhile, city council has to make sure we provide the police and resources Surrey needs today.

— with a file by Amy Reid.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

City CouncilCity of Surreysurrey rcmp

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

Just Posted

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
More than 200 new COVID-19 cases linked to Fraser Health region: Dr. Henry

Provincial health officer appeals to people to keep gatherings small

Reni Masi file photo
Former Surrey school trustee, Delta MLA dies at age 87

Reni Masi served as Liberal MLA for nine years, then as a Surrey school trustee for another nine

A mail-in ballot package for the 2020 B.C. provincial general election. (Liam Harrap photo)
Over 15,000 mail-in ballots in Delta could mean no clear winners on election night

About 18 per cent of voters in Delta North, 23 per cent of voters in Delta South, issued mail-in ballots

A driver pulls up to the new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Weddings, funerals have ‘potential to become a super-spreader’ event: Fraser Health

As of Oct. 21, health authority accounted for 70% of total provincial cases

(Delta Police Department photo)
Police investigating indecent acts in North Delta park

Police received two separate reports of a man masturbating near the Mackie Library on Oct. 21

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Most Read