Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum poses with an example of a Surrey Police cruiser after his State of the City Address at Civic Hotel on May 7. (Photo: Amy Reid)

Surrey mayor says new city cops could patrol with RCMP by mid-2020

Councillor Jack Hundial, who was a Surrey Mountie for 25 years before entering politics, is skeptical

Surrey’s mayor says new city force cops could be patrolling alongside the Surrey RCMP by mid 2020 as the city forges ahead with its epic policing transition.

“There’s going to be a period of time where we’re going to have both RCMP officers out there, and our own city police officers,” McCallum told the Now-Leader on Wednesday.

“There’s no way you can change over in one day,” he explained. “You can’t change 850 or 900 in a day.”

McCallum said in a recent recorded interview, “You’re gonna see probably officers out on our street probably in the middle of next year.”

The anticipated launch date of the city’s new force is expected to be April 1, 2021.

“We can’t just start by April 1, because we have to start before that,” McCallum told the Now-Leader, concerning when new city police officers will begin duty.

Councillor Jack Hundial, who served as a Surrey RCMP officer for 25 years before entering city politics, is skeptical.

homelessphoto

Jack Hundial

“I think the mayor’s timeline is unrealistic and I think some of the goals in that police report are certainly not going to be able to be attained in time, but like I said, currently Mr. Oppal and the committee are reviewing issues such as HR,” Hundial said. “I look forward to seeing what they have to say.”

A typical Mountie will spend six months at depot in Regina. Followed by field training, it’s roughly a year before a rookie officer will hit the streets.

Asked if he thinks there’s enough time between now and the middle of 2020 to properly screen and train new police officers for the job, Hundial replied, “From the policing report, as I understood it, the standards are lower than the RCMP, first of all.”

READ ALSO: Surrey mayor slams ‘lack of progress’ on new police force in wake of fatal shooting

READ ALSO: Politicizing Surrey police transition ‘doesn’t help,’ Wally Oppal says

READ ALSO: First look at Surrey’s policing transition report

At Surrey council’s inaugural meeting on Nov. 5th, 2018 it served notice to the provincial and federal governments it is ending its contract with the RCMP – which has policed these parts since May 1, 1951 – to set up its own force. The city’s 189-page proposed transition plan, revealed in June 2019, states the new force will “go live” on April 1, 2021 at an operating cost of $192.5 million for that year.

The plan includes five “milestones” that address staffing needs. They indicate the “foundations and recruiting process” would be 19 to 21 months prior to the transition date, with training, policies and equipment to be dealt with 12 to 18 months prior, recruiting and training “progress” seven to 11 months prior to the transition date, and management and emergency planning two to six months prior.

The report sets a goal of “being ready to train hundreds of officers in the month prior to the transition date.”

It also states that “it is expected that approximately 100 Surrey RCMP investigators will need to remain embedded in Surrey PD to finish investigations that began prior to the transition date.”

Wally Oppal, a former B.C. attorney general, is heading the provincial team tasked with overseeing the transition from the Surrey RCMP to a new city force after the NDP government gave the city approval to establish its own police force in August.

Oppal re-affirmed in an interview with the Now-Leader, published Oct. 1, 2019 that the new police force is set to launch in the spring of 2021.

“Everybody agreed on that,” Oppal said. “So we’re aiming for that and I see no reason why we can’t accomplish that.”

– With file by Amy Reid



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley-based Spartans volleyball team sweeps series against Winnipeg

Next up, Spartans semifinal against Thompson Rivers

Langley Chamber of Commerce asks for input on rail blockades

The local business group is asking if local businesses have been impacted

VIDEO: Giants winning streak now stands at 11

Team erased a 5-2 deficit by scoring every five minutes

Lions Clubs donate generous gift to local hospital to help Langley breathe easy

A $56,000 donation is the largest the hospital has received from the Lions Club

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read