The City of Surrey began their information and engagement sessions around the planned transition to a municipal police force tonight at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre, with an interactive display and staff on site to share information with residents.
Many of those in attendance were not satisfied with what is being presented as “consultation”, pointing out that there is no more information available than what can be viewed on the City’s website.
“The input from the public is not going to matter, they’ve already decided how they’re going to be making this transition,” said Mike Bola, president of the Cloverdale Community Association.
“I’m incredibly disappointed. All they’ve done is put up a bunch of posters; nobody can answer direct questions,” another resident told PulseFM. “As a homeowner and tax payer, I’m concerned about the costs for me and my neighbours.”
“We’re wondering how much this is going to cost us…the problem is that things like this make me think it’s time to move; with the price of gas and the cost of living going up,” said another long-time Cloverdale resident.
There were a number of staff at the session wearing “Engagement Team” t-shirts, and a number of councillors present including: Allison Patton, Laurie Guerra, Steven Pettigrew, Brenda Locke, Jack Hundial, and Linda Annis (who released a statement earlier today deeming the transition report “shocking”.)
“The city is doing an update on the transition process,” said Councillor Steven Pettigrew. “I’m definitely supportive of the public being informed, this is too little too late, this should have happened months ago, this should have happened on a much larger scale to be able to give the public real input into the transition process.”
Councillor Jack Hundial encouraged residents to email mayor & council as well as elected officials at the provincial level, as the next step forward will be approval from the provincial government.
For a full list of public forums being held in the next month on the transition to a local police force, click here.