THE Surrey Police Board last Friday approved a new policy that requires all Surrey Police Service (SPS) officers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 30.
All police applicants to SPS, experienced and new recruits, must also be fully vaccinated before they will be considered for employment.
The SPS said in a press statement that it has implemented multiple actions, programs and safety measures to address the risks to health, safety and life posed by COVID-19. It added: “The Public Health Officer and other government officials have repeatedly affirmed vaccination as the most effective protection against COVID-19. As a police service that will soon be directly interacting with the public, including some of Surrey’s most vulnerable residents, it is important for SPS to take a leadership role in protecting the community that we will serve and our employees.”
The first 50 SPS officers will be deployed into policing operations by November 30.
This policy is the result of the cooperative and collaborate efforts of the SPS, the Surrey Police Board and the Surrey Police Union.
“All of these parties recognize the importance of workplace and community safety in the midst of this devastating pandemic,” said Chief Constable Norm Lipinski. “It is also significant that a policy could be so quickly created and endorsed by the Surrey Police Board and the Surrey Police Union while in the early stages of the collective bargaining process. This is a demonstration of the responsiveness of local control that the citizens of Surrey can expect from Surrey Police Service.”