Surrey’s new municipal police service is readying itself for its first deployment into policing operations later this month. By Nov. 30, 2021, 50 experienced Surrey Police Service (SPS) officers will be assigned to duties within the RCMP Municipal Police Unit in Surrey (Surrey RCMP). This is the first step in the phased, integrated transition process that is being managed by the Surrey Policing Transition Trilateral Committee, made up of representatives from the three levels of government.
During this initial deployment, the Surrey RCMP will remain as the police of jurisdiction for the City of Surrey. This means that residents will continue to contact the Surrey RCMP to report crime, as per usual.
“I know residents and business owners have questions about any changes they may see during this first deployment. Rest assured, we will be sharing more information with the public shortly,” says Chief Constable Norm Lipinski with Surrey Police Service. “During these early days of the policing transition, we do not anticipate that residents will notice any significant changes to policing services, other than some officers will be wearing SPS uniforms instead of RCMP uniforms.”
The SPS officers who will be deployed are receiving extensive training to ensure they have up-to-date operational skills and knowledge about Surrey. SPS has involved a number of local community agencies in its training so its officers can learn, first-hand, about the community services, groups, Indigenous communities, and local issues for the city they will soon serve.
SPS continues to recruit both sworn police officers and civilian employees, with over 150 staff now hired. Over the past ten months, SPS has focused on hiring experienced officers from both RCMP and municipal police agencies. The majority have come from the Lower Mainland, however officers from Alberta and Ontario have also been hired. On Oct. 15, SPS began accepting applications for its first group of new recruits and have already received hundreds of applications.
SPS recently launched a web page to provide Surrey residents with factual information on this policing transition. The page covers the benefits of municipal policing, how decisions and plans are made, costs, and major milestones. Visit www.surreypolice.ca/about/policing-transition.