Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey’s top cop slams city budget that funds new police force, but not more officers

Surrey’s 2020 budget doesn’t allow for additional police for the second year in a row

Surrey RCMP’s top cop Dwayne McDonald says Surrey’s budget approved Monday night will have a “detrimental effect” on policing “and on the health and wellness of our members and municipal support staff.”

Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald noted the city’s 2020 budget doesn’t allow for additional police for the second year in a row.

“The City of Surrey previously denied my request for 12 additional officers for 2019 and it was made clear to me that any additional requests for police resources would not be entertained while the city is petitioning the province for a municipal police force,” McDonald said. “As our staffing levels remain stagnant and Surrey’s population increases, demand for our police service continues to grow.”

READ ALSO: ‘A disaster’: Surrey council OKs budget despite deemed ‘risk’ to public safety

McDonald, who has typically been reserved in his public response to the city’s plan to replace the Surrey RCMP with a city police force, noted that the Surrey RCMP has experienced a three per cent increase in calls for service in 2019, and a 3.6 per cent increase in files. The impact of these increases, he says, means the Mounties are dealing with an average of 463 more calls per months and 585 more files each month.

“This disparity between resources and calls for service means we will have to review the services we provide. Unfortunately, this may necessitate the redeployment of personnel from proactive and community based programs, which we know have a positive impact on crime prevention, to our essential service, frontline policing.”

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.

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.

“The fundamental issue for us is to make sure the people of Surrey have a policing system that leaves them safe and secure,” Oppal told the Now-Leader in November. “During the transition period we want to make sure nothing falls between the cracks.”

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum could not be immediately reached for comment.



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

West Fine Art Show honours the legacy of Langley artist Peter Ewart

Upcoming show, which benefits the Langley School District Foundation, will run March 6 to 8

Proposed 6.67% tax increase to be considered at Langley City council meeting

City to borrow $10 million a year over the next five years to prepare for the arrival of SkyTrain

Kodiaks stand unbeaten in junior hockey playoffs

Aldergrove advances to second round despite the loss and gain of crucial players

Recreation registration gets user-friendly through new Township of Langley system

Swimming, skating, camps, and classes can be accessed using online portal launching on Feb. 25

Langley teen who died of apparent drug overdose to receive a hockey-themed memorial

Police report on Carson Crimeni case now in the hands of Crown counsel

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

TransLink seeks injunction ahead of pipeline, Indigenous rights protest

The protest rally is in opposition to the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipeline projects

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Mysterious bang booms over Sumas Mountain once again

Police unsure of source, quarry companies say, ‘not us’

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

B.C. widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Most Read