Minister approves establishment of a Surrey police board

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    Mike Farnworth

    Surrey: Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has granted approval to create a municipal police board for the City of Surrey – the next stage in the plan to transition from the RCMP to a municipal police department.

    Having considered the Provincial Municipal Policing Transition Study Committee’s report, as well as the recommendation of the director of police services, in line with section 3 of the Police Act, the minister is confident that the key aspects of the transition plan that required more detail have been thoroughly considered.

    Chaired by Wally Oppal, the Provincial Municipal Policing Transition Study Committee included representatives from the City of Surrey, the ministry and independent consultants with specialized expertise. The committee was established in August 2019 to ensure the City of Surrey’s transition plan addressed all key issues, and its work has now concluded.

    The Surrey police board, once established, will be responsible for creating and governing the Surrey police department. Responsibilities will include:

    • being the employer of the police and civilian employees

    • providing financial oversight for the police department

    • establishing policies and direction for the police department and

    • managing service and policy complaints against the department

    To support the transition process, the Policing Model Transition Secretariat (established in spring 2019) and the director of police services will continue to provide oversight, leadership and support for the Province and the City of Surrey. This will ensure provincial accountabilities, public safety and police oversight are maintained throughout.

    All parties involved acknowledge the complex scale of a transition this size and are committed to co-operation and collaboration with Public Safety Canada and the RCMP.

    A timeline for the transition will be determined by key partners as this work progresses.

    In 2018, the City of Surrey initiated termination of its agreement with the RCMP and the transition to a municipal police force, in accordance with its powers under the Police Act.