Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis. (File photo)

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

Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says the city still needs to hire more Mounties regardless of plans to set up its own police force.

She says public safety cannot be put on hold.

“The officer in charge for Surrey detachment had made a recommendation that we need 150 officers over the next five years and I believe that that’s very reasonable, that would provide him with the manpower that’s needed to adequately police Surrey,” Annis told the Now-Leader. “That’s minimal, based on the rapid growth Surrey is experiencing.”

The proposed budget, unveiled Dec. 3, suggests that no RCMP will be added to the current force, which has 843 members currently, given the city’s intended transition to a municipal force. In 2018, 12 officers were hired.

Even without hiring any new officers, the city is looking at an additional $4.81 million in policing for costs such as the annualization of the 12 positions added this year, salary increases, operations and maintenance costs, and increased funding for integrated teams. Another $1.38 million in expenses is expected for RCMP support services.

READ ALSO: Policing in Surrey — what exactly is the plan?

“The idea that we’re not going to hire any new officers until we have our own police department makes absolutely no sense, particularly since the RCMP have identified the need for 150 new officers over the next five years as Surrey continues to grow,” said Annis, the lone Surrey First member of the Safe Surrey Coalition-dominated council.

Annis said in a press release Monday that public safety was a major concern for voters during the civic election and freezing the hiring of new officers until the new police department is set up “flies in the face of that concern and the very real need for more officers right away.

She noted that Surrey’s population is growing by about 300 families each month and geographically is as large as Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond combined.

Annis noted that Vancouver has roughly 1,400 police officers, making for one cop for every 451 Vancouver residents whereas Surrey’s current ratio is one for every 667 residents.

“By freezing hiring we’re going to make that ratio even worse, which means public safety is going to be jeopardized and that’s reckless and unacceptable,” Annis said. “Creating a Surrey police department is going to take time and resources, it’s not going to happen overnight. Meanwhile, city council has to make sure we provide the police and resources Surrey needs today.

— with a file by Amy Reid.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

City CouncilCity of Surreysurrey rcmp

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Break and enter at Surrey home leads to large drug seizure

Suspects were gone but officers find ‘large quantity of drugs and cash’ inside residence

NDP asks Elections BC to investigate alleged Liberal voter fraud in Surrey-Fleetwood

Campaign organizer MLA candidate Garry Thind allegedly solicited personal information from voters to request mail-in ballots over the internet

Motorcyclist sent to hospital with serious injuries after morning crash in Surrey

Police say crash happened just after 7 a.m. near intersection of King George and 132nd Street

Pedestrian killed in early morning crash on Highway 17 in Surrey

Police want to talk to witnesses or anyone who might have dash-cam video

Semiahmoo Secondary, SFN partner for Orange Shirt Day

South Surrey high school, First Nation also planning future collaborations, vice-principal says

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Orange Shirt Day lessons of past in today’s classrooms

Phyllis Webstad, who attended St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia, is credited for creating the movement

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Greens’ Furstenau fires at NDP, Liberals on pandemic recovery, sales tax promise

She also criticized the NDP economic recovery plan, arguing it abandons the tourism industry

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

‘Alien invasion’: Strange webbing creeps in overnight in Agassiz,Harrison

Eerie webbing might be the result of a growth in moth population

Most Read