Surrey Police Service Chief Norm Lipinski indicated to the Surrey Police Board Tuesday that hiring new officers for the service hasn’t been a problem.
The police service hired its 100th employee on Sept. 7, when 25 new officers joined the organization that day.
Over the next several years, SPS is set to hire more than 800 officers.
As of Sept. 8, the organization had hired 118 employees. Of these, 102 are police officers and 16 are civilian employees.
Of total hires, 69 per cent are men and 31 per cent are women. Additionally, 39 per cent are visible minorities and seven per cent are Indigenous.
Asked by board members to characterize the level of interest in working for SPS, Lipinski said the service is “doing well” with its current applicant pool and doesn’t see a need to ramp up marketing at the present time.
“At some point in the future we may heighten our marketing in this area, but so far we have momentum and I’m pleased with the numbers,” Lipinski told the board. “And I’m pleased with the type of applicants and our recruiters are doing a great job bringing quality people to the SPS.”
Asked if the department has started to hire non-experienced officers for early 2022, Lipinski said they have not yet started that process but will do so later this year.
The first group of 50 Surrey Police Service officers are scheduled to begin patrols of city streets by Nov. 30, or perhaps earlier.
It’s anticipated that at least 40 uniformed officers will be on the road while 10 will be doing investigative detective work alongside the Surrey RCMP.
Under a phased, integrated process agreed upon between Public Safety Canada, the provincial government and City of Surrey, the SPS officers will be assigned to positions in the Surrey RCMP, which continues to have policing jurisdiction of the city.
– with files from Tom Zytaruk