Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo: Kevin Hill)

Policing transition

Surrey RCMP say municipal force approval a ‘challenging time’ for detachment

Province green lit the plan, joint committee for transition to be established

Surrey RCMP has responded to the news that the province has green lit the City of Surrey’s policing transition plan.

In a statement shared to social media Friday (Aug. 23), Surrey RCMP said it is a “challenging time” for all of our police officers and support staff, adding they “continue to do their jobs with compassion, dedication and pride.”

READ ALSO: Province approves Surrey’s plan to establish municipal police force, Aug. 22, 2019

“As the Ministry of Public Safety and City of Surrey move forward in the process to establish a municipal police force for Surrey, we want to assure Surrey residents and business owners that the Surrey RCMP continues to proudly serve as your local police force,” the statement reads.

“As long as we are contracted to do so, we will continue to offer a comprehensive policing service that goes far beyond enforcement, with youth intervention and education, family support, crime prevention programs, outreach with our diverse communities, mental health services, and more.”

The statement also thanks the “many people” who have reached out to the detachment to express their “support and appreciation of the work we do to keep Surrey safe.”

“Your kind words mean a great deal to all of us.”

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced the approval Thursday (Aug. 22) in a joint statement from Minister Mike Farnworth and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum.

“To ensure all key issues are addressed and all complex details are in place to facilitate an orderly transition, a joint project team has been struck,” the statement says. “The joint transition committee, chaired by the Hon. Wally Oppal, will work expeditiously to provide advice to the Director of Police Services through to the Solicitor General relating to the establishment of Surrey’s municipal police department.”

During a news conference, Farnworth said the transition is an “iterative process that requires substantial work that will proceed in phases.”

“As this work progresses, and prior to any decision being made on any future phases of the process, public safety will remain a priority. It is essential that adequate and effective policing is maintained throughout the transition and beyond.”

He said the joint committee will “deal with every single question” that relates to the policing transition. The committee, Farnworth said, “will work to ensure all key issues are addressed and all complete details are considered in the transition plan.”

READ ALSO: McCallum calls it a great and historic day as province approves Surrey’s policing plan, Aug. 22, 2019

McCallum called it a “great and historic day” following the announcement.

He said it “makes it clear that the solicitor general understands and is willing to respond to the needs of Surrey residents.”

“For nine months, the city has been working in co-operating with the solicitor general and his team to get the green light to establish the Surrey Police Department and today we have it.”

READ ALSO: Surrey reacts to policing plan getting the green light, Aug. 22, 2019

READ ALSO: New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal, Aug, 22, 2019

POLL: Do you agree with the province’s decision to approve Surrey’s policing plan?

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