The leadership of seven Surrey temples are petitioning the province to approve this city’s transition from the RCMP to a Surrey Police Department.
On Tuesday, the heads of six Surrey gurdwaras and Hindu temple wrote to Mike Farnworth, the minister in charge of public safety asking for swift approval of Surrey’s move to a locally run police force.
“Surrey’s South Asian population is regularly and disproportionately impacted by the violence that has infiltrated our city’s residential neighbourhoods over the past decade,” the letter to the minister states. “As community leaders, we are on the frontlines of hearing the calls for change from residents who are tired of living in fear.”
The group is upset that the minister has publicly said he will take his time in examining Surrey’s transition plan, promising to do his due diligence in making sure this city was going to be properly policed.
“We are deeply concerned by your position that your decision as solicitor general on this matter `won’t be a snap decision,’ which offers an undefined time framefor a city anxious for change,” the temple leaders say.
“We intend to loudly make our voices heard without Surrey Members of the Legislative Assembly in the coming weeks and months,” they say. “Further, the path that is taken by your government with regards to this transition will significantly impact on how our communities vote in the next provincial election.”
At the same time, there are two petitions circling to keep the RCMP in Surrey.
One by South Surrey resident Ivan Scott is at more than 6,000 names, and the other, an online petition is now at 7,343 names and climbing. It can be followed at https://www.change.org/p/mike-farnworth-keep-the-rcmp-in-surrey.
At least one city councillor is concerned about what the issue is doing to the community.
Coun. Jack Hundial said the longer this divisive issue goes on, the longer it polarizes the community.