Surrey First unveils its election platform

Promised increase of Mounties will reduce the city's police per capita ratio.

Surrey First's platform calls for more police

Surrey First is vowing to hire 30 more police officers in the next three years, but according to population figures obtained from B.C. Statistics, Surrey will have fewer officers per capita under that plan.

With the promise of 30 more officers, at a total cost of $3.9 million over the next three years, Surrey will fall short of  the ratio of police officers to residents it currently has, and will drop far behind the policing ratio per population the city had five years ago.

In 2006, city financial reports indicated Surrey had one officer per 725 people, slightly better than the national average of communities policed by the RCMP. At the time, there was a drive to get the ratio down to one officer per 700 residents.

Since then, the police per population has slipped to one officer per 755 people.

And by 2014, when Surrey will be home to 520,135 people, the police per population figure will drop further, to one per 764 residents – even with the 30 extra officers.

To keep its current police ratio of one for 755, Surrey would have to hire 38 more officers, at a cost of $4.94 million. To get to the levels in 2006, Surrey would have to hire 72 more police officers over the next three years, tapping the city coffers for $9.36 million.

Surrey First’s Mayor Dianne Watts said the city has set a target of one officer per 750 people.

“We will sit down with the RCMP and do the analysis around the integrated units and the impact the expansion of the Community Safety Officers has,” Watts said Monday.

Community Safety Officers are under the command of the RCMP, but do not carry guns.

“What they do is work within the community, so it lets the police officers do other things,” Watts said.

The promise of new police officers came as part of Surrey First’s re-election platform released this week promising safer streets, transportation as well as job creation and investment.

The list of promises includes a Child Advocacy Centre, where children under 16 can seek help for issues relating to abuse. The centre is expected to be up and running as soon as February, 2012.

Surrey First is also promising 12 more firefighters over the next three years.

In addition, if elected, the group says there will be more programs for those most at risk, while expanding recreation opportunities for youth.

Surrey First is also promising to advocate for more schools and establish a community court.

Surrey began calling for a community court in 2007, but got little headway from the province which was busy running a pilot program in Vancouver.

The city has been pressing hard to get one here as well.

The Surrey First platform says it will renew its call for the community court in this city.

Watts said she had assurances from former premier Gordon Campbell that one would be built here, now she will meet with Premier Christy Clark to ensure that promise will be kept.

The mayor’s group is also focusing on transportation this election, promising to move forward with light rail and rapid bus transit over the Port Mann Bridge.

And regarding the economy, Surrey First will be supporting the expansion of Surrey Fraser Docks and several recreation facilities in the city.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com

Just Posted

Fraser Surrey Docks mechanic dies on the job

‘This is a very sad day - a worker went to his job this morning and didn’t go home’

PHOTOS: Canada Cup action continues at Softball City

The Futures Gold final is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Softball City’s diamond No. 1

White Rock senior breaks wrist after tripping on gravel patch

74-year-old woman, who fell at the corner of Fir and Russell, says no one stopped to help

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

VIDEO: Critter Care opens its doors

Thousands attend open house at Lower Mainland wildlife rehabilitation centre

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Most Read