Surrey Police Service Chief Constable Norm Lipinski says a Surrey Police Foundation should be set up and going “full on” by early next year.
He said during Wednesday’s Surrey Police Board meeting that he hoped there would be some interest generated by bringing the concept forward during the public portion of the board meeting.
“I think it would be appropriate for next year, early next year but the planning and discussion would happen this year.”
Lipinski said establishing a Surrey Police Foundation is “very important” for the Surrey Police Service and noted that all major police departments across the country have one. He likened it to a hospital foundation set up to raise cash for medical equipment and programs, except this foundation would be set up to raise cash for programs that support community policing. “Essentially it’s the same template,” he said.
Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
“I think it’s something that Surrey Police Service should look at, the community should look at,” Lipinski told the board.
“Essentially it’s about community wellness.”
He noted that such foundations are non-profit, registered under the Societies Act and usually have seven to nine directors comprised of community members.
“It is very – and I want to make it very clear – separate and apart from the police board,” Lipinski said.
“We have to ensure there is full transparency and much like many other I’ll say charities, you follow the certain set of rules, the certain guidelines, you follow the audit trail and you present to the community.”
Some such foundations raise money by staging one event each year. “I think in some cities there is a substantial amount raised through that one event,” Lipinski noted. He said in his report to council that donations from private citizens and the business community can have “significant impact” on policing programs “that directly benefit the community in many ways” outside of the regular police service operating budget.
Money raised could be used for youth initiatives, mental health and addictions, public engagement and specialized equipment or technology, he said.
Lipinski noted that once interested community members step forward to be a part of the foundation, then “perhaps the board members, knowing Surrey, would perhaps discuss whether those people coming forward, would they be able to form it or whether there’s other people that could be spoken to form it.”
The Surrey Police Board’s next meeting is scheduled for April 20.