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Surrey Police Board should address unanswered questions about the Mayor’s costly transition plan

/EIN News/ -- SURREY, British Columbia, June 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Police Federation (NPF) is calling on the Surrey Police Board to finally address key unanswered questions about Mayor Doug McCallum’s costly transition plan.

“Now that the Surrey Police Board is in place, members of the public will finally get some answers about this costly plan,” said Brian Sauvé, President of the NPF. “Ever since the transition was announced, members of the public have been left in the dark about the true cost of the plan, as well as key details that could have a serious impact on public safety in Surrey.”

The NPF has a number of questions that the Surrey Police Board needs to answer as the body accountable to Surrey residents on matters of policing:

  • What is the true cost of the transition plan, including needs like infrastructure, recruitment, pensions, and IT requirements?
  • What important public services or infrastructure (such as libraries, recreation centres, and the Surrey Housing and Homelessness Society, all of which serve vulnerable citizens) are being cut by the City of Surrey to pay for the costly police transition?
  • How will the Police Board be able to recruit the officers they need for the Surrey Police Department? How will this impact other municipal police forces like Vancouver who are already struggling to address retention issues?
  • How would a new Surrey police force impact the new officer training services that are already stretched at the Justice Institute of BC?
  • What impact will the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have on transition costs?
  • How will the recently announced provincial policing review consider a transition of policing in B.C.’s second largest force?
  • How will the new Board address the many concerning questions being raised by B.C. policing experts about the transition?

“The Surrey Police Board and its members are publicly accountable and they need to answer these key questions that the Mayor and his team have continued to dodge,” added Sauvé.  “Thousands of Surrey residents of all backgrounds have been speaking out against this plan but have been ignored. Now the Board must answer to them in a clear, accountable and transparent fashion.”

The decision by the provincial government to appoint members of the Surrey Police Board does not bind the provincial government to Surrey’s police transition. Section 23 of the Police Act provides the Minister with an ongoing authority to withhold or withdraw approval for the transition.

“Surrey has a number of critical unaddressed hurdles ahead of it on this transition, meaning the proposed April 2021 in-service goal is very much in question,” added Sauvé. “The provincial government will soon see how this significant public safety and political liability will eventually fall into their lap to fix.”

About the National Police Federation:

The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada, the second largest in North America, and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP members. The NPF will focus on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training and supports for our members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and support for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.

For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/.

Media contact:
Brian Sauvé
President
National Police Federation
media@npf-fpn.com
T:  604-861-2684

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