Election 2014: Can Surrey get the cops it needs?

City of Surrey: The RCMP training facility in Regina has 960 officers ready to go this year for all of Canada

Crime is in the crosshairs of Surrey mayoral candidates, but are their promises of more police officers even possible?

Surrey First mayoral candidate Linda Hepner has vowed to hire 147 police officers, with at least 100 coming over the next two years.

And Safe Surrey Coalition’s Doug McCallum is asking for 95 extra officers as part of his crime-fighting platform.

But can Surrey get them?

At RCMP training depot in Regina, which provides newly minted Mounties for the entire country, has hit critical lows since 2008.

Six years ago 1,783 cadets had enrolled, with 1,258 graduating.

That number dropped to 340 in 2013.

Depot told The Leader that number has come back up to 960 this year, but the figure is still lower than what it was in 2008.

NDP MP for Newton-North Delta Jinny Sims says the drop in recruitment numbers does not bode well for Surrey.

“I keep saying – we have a growing city, and more people means a need for more police to keep our streets safe,” Sims said. “Of course we need buy-in from Ottawa. The declining number of RCMP graduates is alarming for everyone.”

Figures show that since 2008, Surrey has never received more than two per cent of the total graduates leaving Regina.

Using that number, with the full 960 graduating this year, that would mean Surrey would receive 19 officers.

That’s far less than the 147 officers the City of Surrey and RCMP Officer in Charge Bill Fordy are asking for (see story page 3).

Fordy told The Leader Tuesday he’s received assurance from E-Division (the regional RCMP headquarters) that he can get the officers he’s requesting.

“Why would I request more than I can get?” he asked.

Mayoral candidate Coun. Barinder Rasode says she doubts Surrey First can get all the Mounties they want.

She believes it will take them five years to fill those positions.

“Surrey needs police right now,” she said.

Rasode plans to hire 200 community safety personnel (unarmed trained officers) immediately. She said they would be recruited and trained locally.

Surrey First mayoral candidate Coun. Linda Hepner said she would augment the numbers from Regina with people recruited locally.

Those officers would be trained RCMP that would come back to Surrey after training.

“Surrey residents deserve cops with guns,” Hepner said.

 

Just Posted

‘It’s just taking your dreams away’: Cloverdale farmer worries ALR changes will kill house plans

Kevin Buttar’s house has been in progress for five years; new rules may have him starting all over

Surrey needs more Mounties now, city councillor says

Linda Annis says public safety cannot be put on hold while city forms its own police force

Rally planned to protest ‘postponement’ of Cloverdale ice complex

A Cloverdale arena is one of many projects set to be delayed in the City of Surrey’s draft budget

Surrey Eagles pick up overtime point on weekend homestand

BCHL team drops game to Coquitlam Express on Teddy Bear Toss night

TransLink reveals new plans for proposed Surrey-Langley SkyTrain

No cost estimates, but the Fraser Highway line is expected to open by 2025

VIDEO: Santa arrives in Clover Square Mall

To all the children’s delight, Santa came crashing into Cloverdale

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson named NHL’s first star of the week

Canucks centre scored two goals and six assists in three games

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

5 to start your day

TransLink reveals new plans for proposed Surrey-Langley SkyTrain, 81-year-old woman waits 90 minutes for a taxi in Pitt Meadows and more

Natural gas rates will go up in B.C. on Jan. 1

Regions could pay up to $68 more

Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

It could be an “impeachable offense” if it’s proven that President Donald Trump directed illegal hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.

Most Read