NO matter what your preference is – RCMP or a municipal police force – playing politics with the security of Surrey-ites is NOT acceptable at all.
Councillor Linda Annis of Surrey First is right when she says: “The idea that we’re not going to hire any new officers until we have our own police department makes absolutely no sense, particularly since the RCMP have identified the need for 150 new officers over the next five years as Surrey continues to grow.” Annis is taking issue with the proposed city budget that excludes hiring any new officers.
Annis, who also voted for a municipal police force for Surrey, in a statement this week noted: “Surrey currently has 835 officers, but with secondments to other law enforcement teams in the region there are really only 777 officers available to us. Vancouver has some 1,400 officers, that’s one officer for every 451 Vancouver residents. Our current ratio in Surrey is one officer for every 667 residents. By freezing hiring we’re going to make that ratio even worse, which means public safety is going to be jeopardized and that’s reckless and unacceptable.”
She also pointed out: “We’re the fastest growing city in the region. Our population is growing by 300 families per month and geographically our city is the size of Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond combined. Our RCMP officers have a lot of geography to cover and they carry a much higher caseload than any other RCMP or municipal police force in the region. Not hiring the RCMP officers we need is no way to improve public safety or tackle gang violence in our city.”