Surrey asks for Vancouver’s help with replacing RCMP with municipal police force

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SURREY, B.C. – Surrey has asked for help from Vancouver’s city staff and police force as it moves forward with a plan to replace its RCMP detachment with a municipal police service.

Mayor Doug McCallum says in a news release that the Vancouver Police Department is internationally recognized as a best-practice, evidence-based force and Surrey hopes to create a similar model.

police lights
File photo

He says Surrey wants a municipal police service that takes a leading-edge approach to preventing and solving crime and social issues that impact its communities.

The city says it has put forward a request for technical assistance from Vancouver and its police department, and the cities will now work to develop a partnership agreement.

It says it wants to draw on Vancouver’s knowledge of legal and financial issues related to policing, while learning from the police department’s expertise with strategic planning, developing a transition plan and building an operational policing model.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says his city and police board are interested and willing to explore a formal partnership to support Surrey’s transition.

“It is important we do all we can to fight crime across the region,” he says.

The release says Vancouver’s deputy city manager Paul Mochrie will work with Surrey’s general manager of policing transition Terry Waterhouse to develop a draft partnership agreement.

This will allow for the efficient and effective delivery of policing services as Surrey transitions to a municipal police department, it says.

“What Vancouver and its police department bring to the table are experience and knowledge that will help us create, in short order, a police department that meets the needs of our city and ensures the safety and security of all Surrey residents,” says McCallum.

At the first city council meeting after his election this fall, McCallum and Surrey’s eight councillors voted unanimously to begin working toward development of a municipal police force and termination of the city’s RCMP contract.

McCallum has said he believes the switch to municipal policing can be accomplished within the next two years at a cost of about $120 million.

Surrey RCMP have said their officers will remain on the job throughout any changes and noted that statistics show crime has declined in the city over the past decade, including violent offences and property crimes.