Surrey police decision expected next week: Will it be RCMP or a municipal force?
The B.C. government is expected to deliver a response next week on the City of Surrey’s revised plan to retain the RCMP and dump the transition to a municipal force.
It could be the final decision to a heated dispute that began last fall when newly elected mayor Brenda Locke and her council reversed the transition that was underway for more than 2½ years.
The first plan delivered earlier this year was rejected at the end of April, with B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth “strongly” recommending Surrey continue the transition and offering up to $150 million to do so. The ongoing transition to date has more than $100 million spent and 400 officers and staff hired.
In June, Surrey council voted a second time to keep the RCMP, largely over concerns a municipal force would cost $30 million or more a year by the city’s estimates.
But the provincial government has stipulated if Surrey council decides to stick with the RCMP, it has to meet strict provisions that included a revised plan, supported by the RCMP, that does not prioritize staffing Surrey RCMP over other B.C. RCMP vacancies and resourcing needs.