Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke to ‘explore options’ as B.C. shuts down bid to stay with RCMP
The B.C. government has ordered the City of Surrey to continue a transition to a municipal police force, potentially ending a feud over the city’s decision last fall to stick with the RCMP.
B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said Wednesday he is confident of the province’s legal authority to make the decision, but Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke immediately called the decision disappointing and misguided and said in the coming days she will be meeting with council and city staff to “explore our options.”
The NDP government’s decision takes place while a larger discussion is underway in B.C. and in Canada about the role of the RCMP and whether it should become a federal force like the FBI and get out of providing contract services to provinces and municipalities.
Farnworth said Wednesday the province made its decision to avoid a crisis in policing in Surrey and to avoid exacerbating existing policing shortages in other parts of the province. He said the decision was about the safety of Surrey and the province and not related to the larger RCMP policing discussion.