An example of a Surrey Police cruiser, showcased at Mayor Doug McCallum’s State of the City Address at Civic Hotel in May of 2019. (File photo: Amy Reid)

OUR VIEW: Put Annis or Hundial on Surrey Police board

By any objective standard, it should be a shortlist of two

CORRECTION (Thursday, July 9, 12:41 p.m.)

The editorial below was published in today’s issue of the Now-Leader (Thursday, July 9, 2020). In fact, councillors are ineligible to be on the board, according to the BC Police Act.

Legislation exists regarding appointments to police boards and is entirely under the purview of the provincial government. The BC Police Act prescribes police board appointments which includes the mayor as chair (ex officio or non-voting), up to seven provincial appointees and one municipal appointee. All seven board members were appointed on June 29 by a provincial Order in Council.

Additionally, according to Section 24 (1) of the Act:

A person who is a councillor or is ineligible to be elected as a councillor must not be appointed to a municipal police board.

This structure is designed to ensure independence of the police board and insulation of the Service (SPS) from local politics.

The Now-Leader apologizes for any confusion our editorial may have caused.

– – –

Who will be the lone Surrey councillor to join Mayor Doug McCallum on the city’s new police board?

Will it be the naturopath, the environmental protection officer, the realtor/yoga instructor, or the meat shop owner?

Or will it be the former Block Watch captain, the former MLA, the long-time executive director of Crime Stoppers, or the retired veteran police officer?

Last week, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General revealed who will be the seven community members on Surrey’s new police board, with McCallum to serve as its chairman. That leaves the appointment of a councillor to complete the circle.

By any objective standard, it should be a shortlist of two: Either the councillor with 25 years’ experience as a police officer, or the councillor who has served as executive director of Crime Stoppers since 2004. Both candidates are steeped in policing and crime-related issues and their presence at that table would undoubtedly be a boon to Surrey residents, especially given that this is a fledgling board that will oversee a fledgling city police force.

READ ALSO OUR VIEW: Committee’s exclusions a waste of Surrey public safety expertise

READ ALSO: ‘Historic moment’ as seven community members are named to Surrey’s new police board

The hitch is, both of these obviously superior candidates are rivals to McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition – whose members the mayor exclusively appointed in 2019 to the interim Police Transitory Advisory Committee.

The mark of a statesman, and not just a mere politician, is to know when to set aside political advantage to do what’s best for the citizenry.

We hope that’s what happens here, with this council member appointment to Surrey’s new police board.

The city’s residents deserve nothing less.

Now-Leader



edit@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Editorial Surrey OUR VIEW Now-Leader opinion

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

Just Posted

Surrey council sets new rules for Good Citizen of the Year award

Candidates have more hurdles to jump before getting nominated for the prestigious local title

EXPLORE SURREY: Tee up some adventures in the city

Also: A walk through Surrey’s public art collection

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

In honour of player killed in crash, Surrey soccer team becomes BB5 United

Brandon Bassi died a few months before CCB won the national title last fall

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Displaced tenant ‘heartbroken’ to find Langley City condo robbed after fire

Wedding rings of Michelle Buchan’s have since been recovered, but much is still missing

‘Agitated’ man pulls out knife on 3 people in Abbotsford

Witnesses sought for incident on Monday night near city hall

FoodMesh taking its emergency food recovery project nationwide

Pilot project in Chilliwack helped show that food surpluses could be diverted to charities in need

Most Read