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

Surrey’s Heritage Rail to celebrate first responders on Canada Day weekend

Cloverdale fire hall will be honoured in ceremony, first responders to receive free train ticket

‘Chest Air’ show in Surrey for storyteller/author Ivan Coyote, prior to city’s Pride festival

‘I want to stop the gerbil wheel a little bit,’ says award-winning artist, who has moved back to Yukon

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

South Asian Mental Health Alliance receives $112K to train 100 ‘youth ambassadors’

The first batch of 25 youth will begin training in Surrey next week

Delta police donate recovered bikes back to the community

18 bikes were donated to R.E.C. for Kids, a non-profit that provides sports equipment to kids in need

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Dinosaur statues from defunct Dinotown theme park stolen in Chilliwack

The dinosaur figures once graced the theme park but were destined for Chilliwack fundraiser

Langley’s oldest and last strip bar shuts its doors

The Alder Inn, in operation since 1957, has reportedly been purchased

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Update: Show of support after pride flag was taken down by Township of Langley

Township statement said flag was removed due to “confusion” about whether it was on private property

Most Read