– Currently, SPS has 332 police officers, with 50% identifying as a visible minority, including 22% who identify as South Asian
– In total, our officers speak 38 different languages, with 52 Punjabi-speaking officers and 31 who speak Hindi
BY CHIEF CONSTABLE NORM LIPINSKI
Surrey Police Service
SURREY Police Service (SPS) continues to proudly serve Surrey residents and business owners with over 200 SPS police officers deployed into policing operations and responding to calls for service. Our most recent deployment group was made up of 14 new Constables who graduated from the Justice Institute of BC (JIBC) Police Academy earlier this month. This was a historic event as they are the first group of police officers to begin their policing careers with SPS.
After more than a year of having our officers out on the streets, it is great to see that the SPS uniform is becoming a familiar site around Surrey. Collectively, our deployed officers have responded to thousands of calls for service – saving lives, protecting the vulnerable, conducting investigations, and helping to make Surrey safer. The rest of the SPS team has been busy in training, building the extensive infrastructure required for a new police agency, or getting to know the community and understand its policing needs.
Regular, meaningful community engagement and consultation is a priority for SPS. We are committed to connecting and engaging with Surrey residents, community and religious groups, marginalized and vulnerable populations, business owners, and youth. In order to ensure that we are able to connect with different communities effectively, SPS strives to have officers who are reflective of the Surrey’s diverse communities. Currently, SPS has 332 police officers, with 50% identifying as a visible minority, including 22% who identify as South Asian. In total, our officers speak 38 different languages, with 52 Punjabi-speaking officers and 31 who speak Hindi.
Throughout North America, there is a push to increase the number of female police officers as, statistically, females have been found to use less force, make fewer discretionary arrests, and see better outcomes for crime victims (www.30x30Initiative.org). Currently, 20% of all SPS officers are female and our new recruits are over 40% female.
It is encouraging to see this evolution of policing as more females and individuals from diverse backgrounds are joining this challenging but rewarding profession. As the newest municipal police service in Canada, SPS is at the forefront of this modernization of policing that prioritizes inclusion, diversity, and a community informed approach to public safety.
As we await the final decision by the provincial government on the future of Surrey’s policing transition, SPS is making fiscally conservative decisions around our spending, while still following the Province of BC’s direction to continue to deliver on the existing transition plan. All of us at Surrey Police Service are hopeful and optimistic that we will continue to have the opportunity to serve Surrey residents.