Surrey Police Service vehicle. (File photo)

Surrey Police Service vehicle. (File photo)

Surrey Police Board mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for officers

All officers must be vaccinated by Nov. 30, according to new board policy

Officers looking to join the Surrey Police Service must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a news release issued Monday, the SPS said the Surrey Police Board approved a new policy that requires all Surrey Police Service officers to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 30. The policy also requires all applicants, experienced and new recruits, to be fully vaccinated before they are considered for employment.

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“The Public Health Officer and other government officials have repeatedly affirmed vaccination as the most effective protection against COVID-19,” SPS said in the release. “As a police service that will soon be directly interacting with the public, including some of Surrey’s most vulnerable residents, it is important for SPS to take a leadership role in protecting the community that we will serve and our employees.”

According to the service, the first 50 SPS officers are to be deployed into policing operations by Nov. 30. The first group of officers will work alongside Surrey RCMP members.

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SPS Chief Const. Norm Lipinski said the policy was endorsed by the Surrey Police Union in the early stages of the collective bargaining process.

“This is a demonstration of the responsiveness of local control that the citizens of Surrey can expect from Surrey Police Service,” Lipinski said in the release.