Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP, Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald. (Submitted photo)

Policing transition

Surrey’s top cop says ‘if you want more boots on the ground, give me more boots’

Dwayne McDonald gets things ‘off chest’ during first police awards since council voted to nix RCMP

Surrey’s top cop says he’s “going to snap” if he has to “listen to one more ex-chief of police on life support, or some fallen-from-grace former public official with an axe to grind, or uninformed academic, call into question the integrity and the professionalism and the dedication of the men and women of the Surrey RCMP.”

Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald made the comments during the 2019 Police Officer of the Year Awards on Thursday (Oct. 10). It was the first time the awards have been held since Surrey council voted to transition from RCMP to a municipal force last November.

As a police force, McDonald said “you often battle perception versus reality.”

“And yes, you become a target and a lightning rod for criticism – some deserved and some not,” he said.

“Policing a large city, we’ve been doing it since 1951. And I would challenge any other large city in this country, to police with the resources that we do, and do a better job. And just saying, if you want more boots on the ground, give me more boots. Gotta get that off my chest, I digress.”

SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: Surrey Mounties, staff and others celebrated at 23rd police awards

READ MORE: Mayor ‘comfortable’ Surrey will be safe with no new cops next year (Dec. 19, 2018)

SEE ALSO: First look at Surrey’s policing transition report

In last year’s budget cycle, Surrey council voted to freeze the hiring of any new officers for the Surrey RCMP in 2019, despite McDonald requesting more Mounties be added to the force.

In 2018, 12 officers were hired which brought the force to 843 members.

The Now-Leader contacted the Mayor’s Office Friday morning to inquire if the mayor intended to continue the freeze in this year’s budget cycle, which is underway right now. This story will be updated if a response is received.

Last year, as council considered the budget, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said he and the majority of council are “comfortable that the RCMP will continue to keep Surrey safe,” despite the hiring freeze in the budget that was approved in a split 5-4 vote last December.

McDonald told the Now-Leader at the time that while he feels “confident the city is safe,” he said Surrey “could be safer” with increased resources.

“I think that we could be safer in the sense that an increase in resources will allow us to expand many of our successful programs, certainly in the areas of proactive policing and also with our gang enforcement team and just in general duty patrol and traffic where we see all of our significant concerns,” McDonald said.

The Officer in Charge has also said the “Surrey RCMP could use a significant increase in police and supporting resources in order to keep pace with the city’s growth and to meet legitimate public expectations.”

-With files from Tom Zillich

Just Posted

‘Coffee with Cops’ visits Cloverdale

Surrey RCMP Wendy Mehat says there is always a good response from the public for the informal chat sessions

Surrey’s top cop Dwayne McDonald is moving on

McDonald’s new role is RCMP’s criminal operations officer in charge of federal, investigative services and organized crime for B.C.

Federal candidates’ Facebook ad spending disclosed

Facebook’s new Ad Library shows how much candidates are spending on advertisements

72-year-old to vote for the first time

Christine Steuckl became a Canadian citizen Oct. 8 at ceremony in Surrey

Private school plans at expanded Surrey ice arena emphasize student ‘grit’

At Excellent Ice building, hockey among five sports to be offered at Glarea Elevated Learning

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

Man who orchestrated Mission murders gets day parole after serving less than three years

Victims’ parents express grief, outrage over parole board decision

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read