Tell Mayor and Council to halt this expensive and unpopular transition until Surrey residents can have a say in the 2022 municipal election this fall.
1. Big Tax Increases
The City of Surrey is raising taxes significantly to fund the new police service.
- McCallum and his team voted to increase property taxes
- Property taxes on an average home will rise from $3,674 in 2021 to $4,852 in 2022: an increase of $1,178 or 32% per home, in addition to the $300 homeowner levy
- The property tax for Surrey residents will remain at 2.9% in 2022 – but the budget for the new Surrey Police Service has tripled in the last two years, which will lead to increased policing costs. If even a fraction of the money being spent on SPS was invested in the Surrey RCMP, Surrey residents would have more police on the ground much more affordably than this expensive transition.
Mayor and Council should be providing support for vulnerable citizens instead of funding this costly police transition.
2. Hidden and Unknown Costs
This is a costly plan with more future hidden and unknown costs for taxpayers. Mayor and Council did not conduct a feasibility study and should halt this transition until full costs are known and shared.
- Transition costs are representing a four-fold increase, in just three years, from $19 million to potentially $81+ million
- The SPS will require an estimated annual (ongoing) 30% increase in demand for training of new police recruits at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). The JIBC model will need to adjust, expand, and be appropriately resourced to reflect this increased demand. Last year, the JIBC received $2,468,093 in police services funding from the Province. A 30% increase need from the SPS is over $740,000 annually. The SPS should bear these additional costs instead of the province and all B.C. taxpayers
- Other costs of the transition remain unknown or unclear:
- Liability and legal costs for accidents, civil actions, and other claims
- Loss of additional federal subsidies, including 30% for the Integrated Homicide Investigative Teams (IHIT) service
- Expenses to pay RCMP Members to return to testify in court on ongoing cases in Surrey for three to five years
- Staffing and Human Resources requirements
3. Unpopular Plan
Surrey residents overwhelmingly do not support this unpopular plan. Multiple rounds of research have shown:
- Believe providing support for seniors and vulnerable residents, along with maintaining core services should be a top priority
- 87% of residents support keeping the RCMP in Surrey; with improvements such as increased policing resources
- Only 13% of residents want to replace the RCMP
- Over 3 in 4 residents continue to support a referendum on the plan
- Residents continue to oppose the Mayors plan over five waves of data collected since 2020
4. Plan in Disarray
The Mayor promised the new police service would launch by April 1, 2021 and then again by November 30, 2021 and has missed both deadlines:
- There is still no Human Resources plan identifying how or when officers will be hired; and the related costs
- There is still no transition plan, feasibility study, full cost accounting, or timeline
Surrey is home to the largest RCMP detachment in Canada. With ~850 officers, who are part of several integrated and highly specialized teams made up of RCMP and municipal police officers. Some of the integrated teams include the Emergency Response Team, Police Dog Services, and the Homicide Investigation Team to name a few. Visit the BC RCMP website for a full list of police services. Surrey RCMP are committed to the safety and wellbeing of Surrey residents.
While policing services by Surrey RCMP are contracted between the City of Surrey and the RCMP, the City of Surrey establishes the level of police resources, budget and policing priorities for Surrey in consultation with the Province and RCMP. The Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge reports to the Mayor of Surrey on matters relating to the implementation of objectives, priorities, and goals of the detachment. Learn more about Surrey RCMP’s Governance & Accountability to the City of Surrey. Click here to read what a standard Municipal Police Unit Agreement between BC Municipalities and the RCMP looks like.
For decades, the Surrey RCMP has been a centerpiece of community involvement in Surrey.
Just a few of the highlights include:
The RCMP is proud to champion several causes in the community, including Keian’s Holiday Wish Toy Drive, Pack the Police Car in aid of Surrey Food Bank, and Sophies Place, in support of children who are victims of physical, mental, or sexual abuse.
Surrey RCMP is a key partner in Surrey Safe Schools, providing prevention and intervention resources and programming to help keep our kids safe in in the classroom. Key programs include Code Blue/Mini Blue which builds positive police-youth relationships through fitness, Shattering The Image, an anti-gang presentation which shares the true story of gang life in Surrey and its consequences, and Wraparound, a program designed to positively attach youth to school, their community and home by building trusting and positive relationships.
Other key community partnerships include the Surrey Anti-Gang Family Empowerment (S.A.F.E.) Program, D.A.R.E. (a youth-focused drug awareness and prevention program), and Surrey Mobilization and Resiliency Table (S.M.A.R.T.), a program which works to mitigate risk before crises can occur by linking individuals in Surrey with critical supports and interventions. The Surrey RCMP also emphasizes supports for Mental Health. The Police Mental Health Outreach Team attends 27 meetings a month with over 20 agencies. Car 67 is a program that pairs a police officer with a nurse to respond to police calls that involve significant mental health issues.
It is critical that our police service reflect the diversity of our community. The Surrey RCMP Member language profile increasingly and closely reflects that of our City:
- Surrey detachment Members speak 51 different languages
- ~120 Members speak a South Asian language
- 83 members speak Punjabi; 62 Hindi; 24 Cantonese
- 31 more members speak a second language in 2019 than in 2017
Additionally, the Surrey RCMP lead the Diversity Outreach Program, which expands the ability of community police officers to connect with the City’s diverse communities, and ensure they are comfortable reaching out to and interacting with the RCMP when needed.
These are Surrey’s police officers: diverse, passionate, committed. Living and serving Surrey every day. They’ve got our back, we need to have theirs.
The following community leaders are just some of the many who have gone on record supporting keeping the RCMP in Surrey.
- Former Mayor Bob Bose
- Former Mayor Dianne Watts
- Former Mayor Linda Hepner
- Councillor Linda Annis
- Councillor Brenda Locke
- Councillor Jack Singh Hundial
- Councillor Steven Pettigrew
- Former MLA and MP Gordie Hogg
- MP Ken Hardie
- Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman
- Retired Surrey RCMP Inspector Baltej S. Dhillon
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