Surrey, B.C., council votes in favour of keeping RCMP, rather than municipal force

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Surrey, B.C., council votes in favour of keeping RCMP, rather than municipal force

A Surrey police department logo is seen on an officer's jacket in Surrey, B.C., Monday, Oct. 31, 2022.

A Surrey police department logo is seen on an officer's jacket in Surrey, B.C., Monday, Oct. 31, 2022.

By The Canadian Press

Tue., Nov. 15, 20221 min. read

SURREY, B.C. – City councillors in Surrey, B.C., have voted narrowly in favour of sticking with the RCMP, rather than proceeding with a move to a municipal police force.

Council voted 5-4 in favour of keeping the federal force, as Mayor Brenda Locke and the four councillors elected under her Surrey Connect banner made good on an election promise to end the transition to the Surrey Police Service.

The vote means all spending and hiring must stop for the fledgling police service that was formally established in 2020 under former Surrey mayor Doug McCallum.

A statement from the city says staff will now put together a plan to re-establish the RCMP as the sole police force in the city.

The report will address issues including staffing and human resources implications and will be sent to the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for final approval.

The plan requires council endorsement before it is forwarded to the ministry.

A statement from Anita Huberman, president and CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, says the board is pleased with council’s decision.

“We have advocated for keeping the RCMP in Surrey because we have always been concerned with the impact the transition would have on taxes and public safety to Surrey and to the rest of BC,“ Huberman says in the statement.

She urges the B.C. government to act quickly in response to “this urgent, pivotal time in Surrey,” saying “public safety matters to business.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2022.

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