Lack of police and adequate supervision will make for a dangerous mix as Surrey heads toward its own police force, a city councillor fears.
Surrey is planning to replace the RCMP with a local municipal force in the coming years.
Some of the arguments for that is that Surrey is too big a city for federal policing and it’s felt the city would have more local control with a municipal force.
In June, Surrey released a Police Transition Plan that outlines what Surrey’s new police force will look like.
Surrey Coun. Jack Hundial said Tuesday he has concerns.
His primary concern is that this city will have far fewer police officers on the road than it does now.
Surrey currently has 843 officers. Twelve more were requested this year, but it was denied by the majority of council. No more police will be hired until the transition takes place.
Hundial says the difference in policing strength is dramatic.
“The report says we’re going to staff it with 461 positions, but we’re prepared to do 80 per cent of that,” Hundial told Pulse FM. He also notes there will be a lack of ranked leadership on the front lines.
“You need to have supervision on the road,” Hundial said. “In a place this size, this dynamic, you need to have front-line supervisors.”
Hundial says he will be providing public updates for the foreseeable future, even though he has been excluded from the new Police Transition Advisory Committee.
The final say about Surrey’s policing plan is now in the hands of the pronvince. Minister Mike Farnworth says he is in no hurry to make a decision on it.