Optics are ‘terrible’ as delay on how Surrey will be policed is costing millions
Continued delays over the decision about who will police Surrey is costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and risking public safety, experts say.
“If this project fails, it will put policing reform back a decade or more,” said Ryan Buhrig, a spokesperson for the Surrey Police Union, of the years-long effort to transition policing in Surrey from the RCMP to a municipal police force.
“What other police officer would come in and join a new agency when there’s a chance that a new mayor and council could come in and just wipe it out?” he asked.
From January to March of this year Surrey spent more than $20 million for the SPS, in addition to the costs for the RCMP.
Surrey is B.C.’s second most populous city and the largest Canadian city still policed by the RCMP. A recent report from Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth failed to make a definitive decision but “strongly suggested” that Surrey continue its transition to a municipal police force.
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