Surrey’s policing transition is the topic of conversation during a “Digital Town Hall” on Tuesday, May 11.
Surrey Police Service Chief Constable Norm Lipinski will speak about “his role and his strategic plans in establishing the Surrey Police Service responsive to the needs and well-being of the community,” according to event host Surrey Board of Trade.
Start time is noon for the online event, free (or “pay what you can”) for SBOT members and the general public to watch on the Zoom platform. A registration link is posted to businessinsurrey.com.
Lipinski was named chief constable of the fledgling police force last November, after serving five years as Deputy Chief Constable with Delta Police and five years as an Assistant Commissioner with the RCMP. Earlier, he served 33 years with the Edmonton Police Service until he retired in 2011 with the rank of Deputy Chief Constable.
The controversial policing transition, from RCMP services, triggered harsh words during the April 26 meeting of Surrey city council, during debate on Councillor Brenda Locke’s motion calling for the transition to go to a referendum. The motion failed.
Earlier in April, the SPS came under fire for hiring a cop, Jeff Metcalfe, who recently came off a 90-day driving prohibition while being behind the wheel.
While Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s initial prediction of the Surrey Police Service up and running by April 1, 2021, didn’t come to fruition, Lipinski maintains there will be some “boots on the ground” this year.
“There has been some speculation regarding the transition, including timing,” said Lipinski in a news release in late March. “But the fact is, the transfer of policing responsibility will happen in an orderly, efficient and methodical manner. It is important that this be done right, not fast.”
with files from Tom Zytaruk