Have your say on the future of policing in Surrey by voting in the upcoming October 15 municipal election.
1. Big Tax Increases
The City of Surrey raised taxes to fund the new police service. Mayor and Council should be providing support for vulnerable citizens instead of funding this costly police transition.
- The Mayor and his team voted to increase property taxes on average 2.9% annually,
- This is in addition to tripling the property levy from $100 to $300 per homeowner which has collected millions of additional dollars from taxpayers to fund a new police service, from $17 million in 2020, to a forecasted $50.7 million in 2025.
2. Hidden and Unknown Costs
This is an expensive plan with future hidden and unknown costs for taxpayers. Mayor and Council did not conduct a feasibility study, and this transition can be halted until full costs are known and shared.
- The Mayor and his team voted to approve an increase in transition costs from $19 million to $64 million in 2020; with their recent 2022 budget showing another potential increase to $81 million.
- The City of Surrey benefits through millions in federal subsidies and provincial tax exemptions by having the Surrey RCMP as their police service. Each year these savings average $22 million, that will be lost by having a new police service. Over five years, that is $110 million in lost revenues for the City that will need to be made up by the taxpayer.
- Funds allocated for the police transition could better serve Surrey residents by investing in the Surrey RCMP and other vital services like pre-schools, community pools, youth programs, improved infrastructure, or addressing the opioid and housing crises.
3. Unpopular Plan
Surrey residents overwhelmingly do not support this unpopular plan. Multiple rounds of research have shown:
- 75% of residents support keeping the RCMP in Surrey with improvements such as increased policing resources.
- 82% of residents believe the transition should be halted until detailed costs are shared publicly
89% of Surrey residents have a favourable impression of RCMP Members.
- 90% female
- 88% male
- 87% South Asian
- 75% want to keep property taxes affordable.
4. Not a Done Deal
Despite what some may claim, this transition is not a done deal. The October 15 municipal election finally gives Surrey residents a say on the future of policing in your city.
- The specific timing of SPS potentially becoming the police of jurisdiction is dependent on decisions made by all three levels of government, which may affect the timing and expenditures.
- Given all the delays, the RCMP will likely remain in command for the next four-plus years and in Surrey for the next six-plus years; there is no plan or approval for change-of-command.
- For the foreseeable future, Surrey residents will be paying for two police services, paying exorbitant taxes, and losing other critical services and community programs at the expense of such a transition.
- Six rounds of research since 2020 have consistently shown that most Surrey residents do not support this.
- Only 17% of residents want to replace the RCMP.
- It would cost far less now to halt the transition.
Surrey is home to the largest RCMP detachment in Canada. With ~800 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 50 different languages
- 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 RCMP Members: 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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