Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey’s top cop slams city budget that funds new police force, but not more officers

Surrey’s 2020 budget doesn’t allow for additional police for the second year in a row

Surrey RCMP’s top cop Dwayne McDonald says Surrey’s budget approved Monday night will have a “detrimental effect” on policing “and on the health and wellness of our members and municipal support staff.”

Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald noted the city’s 2020 budget doesn’t allow for additional police for the second year in a row.

“The City of Surrey previously denied my request for 12 additional officers for 2019 and it was made clear to me that any additional requests for police resources would not be entertained while the city is petitioning the province for a municipal police force,” McDonald said. “As our staffing levels remain stagnant and Surrey’s population increases, demand for our police service continues to grow.”

READ ALSO: ‘A disaster’: Surrey council OKs budget despite deemed ‘risk’ to public safety

McDonald, who has typically been reserved in his public response to the city’s plan to replace the Surrey RCMP with a city police force, noted that the Surrey RCMP has experienced a three per cent increase in calls for service in 2019, and a 3.6 per cent increase in files. The impact of these increases, he says, means the Mounties are dealing with an average of 463 more calls per months and 585 more files each month.

“This disparity between resources and calls for service means we will have to review the services we provide. Unfortunately, this may necessitate the redeployment of personnel from proactive and community based programs, which we know have a positive impact on crime prevention, to our essential service, frontline policing.”

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.

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.

“The fundamental issue for us is to make sure the people of Surrey have a policing system that leaves them safe and secure,” Oppal told the Now-Leader in November. “During the transition period we want to make sure nothing falls between the cracks.”

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum could not be immediately reached for comment.



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

Just Posted

Chilliwack Learning Society finds new way to get free books to kids amid COVID-19 pandemic

Debbie Denault is hoping others will join her in handing out free books in their own neighbourhoods

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘I love you this much’: Chilliwack firefighters share drone video on two-metre physical distancing

The Chilliwack Firefighters Association has been doling out helpful, visual reminders about COVID-19

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack teen found, safe and sound

RCMP ‘pleased to confirm’ teen has been located

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read