Surrey Police Board on a patio at city hall, in a photo posted to

Surrey Police Board on a patio at city hall, in a photo posted to

Surrey Police Board to start ‘reporting publicly’ on budget numbers in November

Board must submit provisional Surrey Police Operational/Transition budget for 2021 to the City of Surrey by Nov. 30

Surrey residents craving to know just how much the city’s transition process from the Surrey RCMP to a city-made Surrey Police Service will cost taxpayers will have to wait a while longer to find out.

Surrey Police Board member Elizabeth Model said Tuesday that the board must submit a provisional Surrey Police Operational/Transition budget for 2021 to the City of Surrey by Nov. 30, as is required under the Police Act.

During the board’s third meeting so far Model, chairwoman of the finance committee, also said the board’s finance committee has met with city staff “on several occasions” to review year-to-date 2020 budget numbers related to the policing transition.

“We will start reporting publicly on those numbers in November once we’ve had the opportunity to review an ongoing report template and ensure it meets our needs and it gives the public, Surrey citizens and the business community the information we want and we deserve,” she said.

That means anyone hoping to learn how much the Surrey policing transition has cost taxpayers to date will have to wait until after the Oct. 24 provincial election has come and gone.

Shortly after Tuesday’s meeting got underway, under Questions and Answers – Emails from Citizens, resident Debi Johnstone inquired of the board how much has been spent to date on the transition and if there are any updates on final costing for taxpayers. Model replied that this would be covered when she presented her report on interim financial measures later in the meeting.

READ ALSO: Civilian oversight of Surrey police deemed ‘fundamental’

“As for the 2021 budget, the finance committee will be working with the city to ratify that budget,” Model said. “When the chief is hired they will have the input regarding next year’s costs and the budget and it can be amended up to and until March 2021. The 2021 budget will be submitted to council by Nov. 30 and this is based on legislative requirements” under the Police Act.

“As with any budgeting exercise, this information will be made public once approved by city council,” she said. “Unfortunately in its draft form, it is not appropriate for the board to release this information,” Model said.

Model said, concerning the next steps for the 2021 budget, that the board and City will collaborate on three tasks, namely, to determine the “compensation and related overhead” for various positions and levels in the new police department, to verify requirements for one-time transition costs for the balance of the transition, and to confirm and ratify the Surrey Police Operational/Transition budget for 2021 so the provisional budget deadline can be met.

“The budget is reviewed by council. The City of Surrey is responsible for the final reading, for the fees, rates, budget and bylaws, and Nov. 30 is the statutory requirement for the police board to submit their financial plan,” Model said.

“The chief constable will have the direct input put in place for appropriate financial policies and procedures,” she said.

READ ALSO: Horgan says Surrey mayor opened ‘hornets’ nest’ with Surrey policing transition

READ ALSO: Liberal leader says referendum on Surrey’s policing transition would be in first half of 2021

The chief has yet to be identified.

Once he or she is hired, the chief will provide direction to “ensure appropriate financial policies and procedures” that support the new police force, including ensuring “best practice” in budget management and managing the transition and establishment costs. Model noted the chief’s duties will also include building an integrated financial management system, ensuring financial reporting requirements are met and establishing the police service financial management support model.

The next police board meeting is Nov. 20.

Meantime, Ivan Scott, organizer of the Keep the RCMP in Surrey campaign, says he’s still waiting for some transparency.

“I thinks it’s becoming a bit of a sham, to be quite honest,” he said. “I know that there’s been thousands of questions, virtually thousands of letters that have been sent to the board from very, very concerned citizens.

“I just don’t know where this whole thing is going,” Scott said. “It was supposed to be transparent and there’s no transparency basically any more.”

At Surrey council’s inaugural meeting on Nov. 5th, 2018 it served notice to the provincial and federal governments it is ending its contract with the RCMP – which has policed these parts since May 1, 1951 – to set up its own force. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth on Aug. 22, 2019 gave the city the go-ahead to pursue the plan.

The Surrey Police Service is expected to have 805 police officers, 325 civilian employees,and 20 community safety personnel who will take on lower priority, less risky, and less complex duties in order to” better leverage” frontline officers, All told, 84 per cent of the officers will be constables.

Surrey RCMP, in comparison, has 1,145 employees, 843 of which are police officers.

Model said Tuesday that civilian staff will transfer over to the Surrey Police Service in 2021.

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

City of SurreyPolicesurrey rcmp

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

Just Posted

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police investigating after another teen girl followed in Tsawwassen

Police say a man in a burgundy car approached teen girls on at least two, possibly three occasions

(Photo: Twitter@SurreyRCMP)
Surrey Mounties, pet owners, bracing for Halloween

Last year the Surrey RCMP received 147 fireworks complaints on Diwali and 121 on Halloween

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media photo)
Delta urging residents do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19

“We all know what we need to do as a community to push the curve back down,” said Mayor George Harvie

White Rock RCMP are searching for Richard John Lewis, who is wanted on warrants for assault and uttering threats. (RCMP handout)
White Rock RCMP searching for wanted man

Richard John Lewis is wanted on warrants for assault, uttering threats

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Stock photo
Pair’s lawsuit dismissed against Fraser Valley soccer association and churches

Judge in Abbotsford calls claims against 14 defendants ‘an abuse of the court’s process’

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has issued a decision about the actions of an elementary school teacher in Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley elementary teacher suspended for grabbing, shoving, yelling at kids

Roxann Rojas will lose her legal authority to teach for two weeks from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2020

Most Read