Norm Lipinski, the Surrey Police Service’s first chief, during the announcement on Friday (Nov. 20, 2021). (Photo: surreypoliceboard.ca)

Norm Lipinski, the Surrey Police Service’s first chief, during the announcement on Friday (Nov. 20, 2021). (Photo: surreypoliceboard.ca)

Surrey Police chief wants people on force who have ‘overcome adversity’

Lipinski explains some of the criteria he looks for when hiring during Surrey Board of Trade town hall

Surrey Police Service Chief Norm Lipinski says he first looks to those who have “overcome adversity” when it comes to hiring people for the department.

The comments come as Lipinski was taking part in a digital town hall with the Surrey Board of Trade on Wednesday (May 12), for “A Perspective on the Surrey Police Transition.”

Lipinski was asked how the SPS is going to work with youth and newcomers to build trust with the public safety system.

He said community consultation is the first step, which the SPS is hoping to launch in the coming months. Lipinski added he would like to see yearly consultation and yearly or biennial surveys.

He also mentioned the discussions around school liaison officers in schools and the roles they play.

READ ALSO: Surrey School District not planning to pull cops out of schools, like Vancouver, April 28, 2021

“I will let the community determine what they want from the Surrey Police Service and the school board, what kind of model they would like to see pertaining to our youth.”

With newcomers, Lipinski said he wants to hold sessions with newcomers “describing and walking through what policing in Canada is like.”

Then he moved on to his decisions behind hiring someone.

“I used to be of the mindset years ago that we hire people who are into sports and they’re sort of the command control people … they can make a decisions. Through the years, I’ve changed my position.”

Lipinski said he looks at two things: if they’ve “overcome adversity” and someone who has worked in the “people industry.”

“The reason is this is a very tough job and also you have to appreciate the people you deal with under adverse conditions or have come backgrounds from adversity,” he explained.

“For somebody to have been there, it really makes a connection, solidifies, it makes an understanding. We know that the conditions you’re born in, raised in and live in, sometimes you make bad choices. We need to have that police officer that understands that.”

As for the those in the “people industry,” Lipinski said he looks for people “quite frankly, that have been servers in restaurants.”

“The reason is that they understand and they have experience of talking to people. That serves many different elements of talking somebody down who is mentally ill, talking somebody down that is very mad for whatever reason. It’s that interaction of people contact.”

However, for recruitment, Lipinski said he is initially looked for experienced officers and then “brand-new” recruits. But he added he’s looking to schedule “placeholders” at the Justice Institute of B.C. for the next year.

New recruits would be trained at the JIBC, followed by “in-service training for individual police services, he said.

Meantime, the National Police Federation is calling on the SPS to “halt recruitment of active police officers in the Lower Mainland” in the wake of multiple gang-related shootings.

READ ALSO: ‘We will do everything we can,’ B.C. police say to reassure public amid gang violence, May 11, 2021

READ ALSO: Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence, May 10, 2021

NPF president Brian Sauvé said “now is not the time to be removing scarce resources from active service in the Lower Mainland” to an “inactive potential future police service.”

He said “immediate action” is need to protect innocent people, including police officers, during this crisis.”

“It is more important than ever to ensure police services are resourced and properly funded to protect the public from this ongoing gang violence.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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

Police

Just Posted

The City of White Rock turns 63 today. (file photo)
City of White Rock 2020 annual report available for review

Report to be discussed at June 28 council meeting

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of May 31

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read