Surrey Police Service Chief Const. Norm Lipinski, left, speaks during a joint press conference with Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021. (File photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey Police Service outlines goal for 295 officers by May 2023

Joint statement details plans for Surrey RCMP’s ‘demobilization’

With 66 Surrey Police Service officers already working alongside RCMP, a new strategy aims for more to join every two months.

A joint statement released Thursday (May 5) from SPS Chief Const. Norm Lipinski and Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards details “a significant milestone in the transition of policing services,” with a human-resources strategy and plan.

This new plan will guide the first phase of the transition to SPS from Surrey RCMP, outlining the expected numbers for the deployment of SPS officers and the related demobilization of RCMP members until the end of May 2023.

During this phase, SPS officers will continue to be assigned into positions within the Surrey RCMP detachment, under the command of the RCMP.

The strategy plans to have 295 Surrey Police officers working alongside Surrey RCMP officers by May 2023. They “will be primarily assigned to frontline duties, with some going into Investigative Services and Community Services,” the strategy states.

Lipinski said this plan allows for “significant work” over the next 13 months.

“We will continue to work closely with the RCMP throughout this unprecedented policing transition.”

As SPS members begin working in Surrey, the plan notes that RCMP members will be transferred out of the detachment on a “regular” basis. It’s expected that between 175 and 195 officers will be moved to other RCMP postings through to May 2023.

“The RCMP is committed to working collaboratively with our partners for the smooth transition of policing to Surrey Police Service. The most important focus, as always, will be the maintenance of police officer and public safety during this process,” noted Edwards, the officer-in-charge for the Surrey RCMP.

The joint statement says this HR plan will “continue for several important issues to advance the transition,” including the “pathway” for the change of command, transfer of equipment and assets to SPS from RCMP, establishment of SPS information technology infrastructure and shared use by the RCMP and SPS of existing city-owned or leased facilities.

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