More than a month after the federal government said Surrey had 20 new police officers, the city has only received six new Mounties.
Conservative Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney was at the Delta Public Safety Building Tuesday for a forum with local mayors.
At a media scrum afterward, Blaney said Surrey had 33 new officers in April, and six more since.
However, the 33 were owed this city from last year, he acknowledged when asked by The Leader.
He confirmed that Surrey has only six of the 100 it’s asked for this year.
He would not say how many of the 100 will be delivered before the federal election in October.
“I can’t commit to this number,” Blaney said. “The number is evolving every day, there are more coming in the coming weeks. We will keep you updated.”
More than five weeks ago, Blaney said Surrey had 20 new “boots already on the ground.”
However, The Leader learned at the time there had been no new Mounties added to our police force.
For weeks, the federal NDP had been hammering Blaney in the House of Commons.
The New Democrats wanted to know what the timeline was for 100 officers requested by the City of Surrey.
In June, Blaney said 20 of the officers were here.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that the deployment of the first 20 members committed to Surrey is underway and that boots are already on the ground,” Blaney said in a news release on June 11.
Forty days later, Blaney now says the number of new officers is six.
Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said Monday she’s unconcerned about the pace of arrival.
“I understand that it takes time to get people from one end of the country or to transfer,” Hepner said.
She added she will be greatly concerned if she doesn’t receive half of the 100 she asked for by the end of the year.
“Then I would be advocating very strongly,” she said. “But right now, I’m letting the process unfold.”
The push for more police officers in Surrey came in part from political promises prior to the 2014 civic election. It has since been fueled by a series of shootings playing out in the streets of Surrey and Delta since March.
Blaney said the new recruits will be coming as they graduate from Depot in Regina.
He said Surrey will be getting a significant proportion of grads as the city has been identified as a priority.