Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum poses with an example of a Surrey Police cruiser after his State of the City Address at Civic Hotel on May 7. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Surrey mayor says new city cops could patrol with RCMP by mid-2020

Councillor Jack Hundial, who was a Surrey Mountie for 25 years before entering politics, is skeptical

Surrey’s mayor says new city force cops could be patrolling alongside the Surrey RCMP by mid 2020 as the city forges ahead with its epic policing transition.

“There’s going to be a period of time where we’re going to have both RCMP officers out there, and our own city police officers,” McCallum told the Now-Leader on Wednesday.

“There’s no way you can change over in one day,” he explained. “You can’t change 850 or 900 in a day.”

McCallum said in a recent recorded interview, “You’re gonna see probably officers out on our street probably in the middle of next year.”

The anticipated launch date of the city’s new force is expected to be April 1, 2021.

“We can’t just start by April 1, because we have to start before that,” McCallum told the Now-Leader, concerning when new city police officers will begin duty.

Councillor Jack Hundial, who served as a Surrey RCMP officer for 25 years before entering city politics, is skeptical.

homelessphoto

Jack Hundial

“I think the mayor’s timeline is unrealistic and I think some of the goals in that police report are certainly not going to be able to be attained in time, but like I said, currently Mr. Oppal and the committee are reviewing issues such as HR,” Hundial said. “I look forward to seeing what they have to say.”

A typical Mountie will spend six months at depot in Regina. Followed by field training, it’s roughly a year before a rookie officer will hit the streets.

Asked if he thinks there’s enough time between now and the middle of 2020 to properly screen and train new police officers for the job, Hundial replied, “From the policing report, as I understood it, the standards are lower than the RCMP, first of all.”

READ ALSO: Surrey mayor slams ‘lack of progress’ on new police force in wake of fatal shooting

READ ALSO: Politicizing Surrey police transition ‘doesn’t help,’ Wally Oppal says

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

At Surrey council’s inaugural meeting on Nov. 5th, 2018 it served notice to the provincial and federal governments it is ending its contract with the RCMP – which has policed these parts since May 1, 1951 – to set up its own force. The city’s 189-page proposed transition plan, revealed in June 2019, states the new force will “go live” on April 1, 2021 at an operating cost of $192.5 million for that year.

The plan includes five “milestones” that address staffing needs. They indicate the “foundations and recruiting process” would be 19 to 21 months prior to the transition date, with training, policies and equipment to be dealt with 12 to 18 months prior, recruiting and training “progress” seven to 11 months prior to the transition date, and management and emergency planning two to six months prior.

The report sets a goal of “being ready to train hundreds of officers in the month prior to the transition date.”

It also states that “it is expected that approximately 100 Surrey RCMP investigators will need to remain embedded in Surrey PD to finish investigations that began prior to the transition date.”

Wally Oppal, a former B.C. attorney general, is heading the provincial team tasked with overseeing the transition from the Surrey RCMP to a new city force after the NDP government gave the city approval to establish its own police force in August.

Oppal re-affirmed in an interview with the Now-Leader, published Oct. 1, 2019 that the new police force is set to launch in the spring of 2021.

“Everybody agreed on that,” Oppal said. “So we’re aiming for that and I see no reason why we can’t accomplish that.”

– With file by Amy Reid



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

PHOTOS: Historic look at Chilliwack activities we are missing in the pandemic

Images from the Chilliwack Museum & Archives show sporting events everyone hopes to get back to soon

Emergency crews respond to ATV rollover near Harrison

ATV rolled over on or near Harrison East Forest Service Road near Harrison Hot Springs

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read