THE Province has appointed the City of Surrey’s first police board members as part of Surrey’s transition from an RCMP detachment to a municipal police department.
The lieutenant governor in council has appointed seven community members under section 23(1)(c) of the Police Act to the City of Surrey’s municipal police board, joining the mayor of Surrey as chair and a municipal council appointee to complete the nine-person board:
- Chief Harley Chappell, elected Chief of the Semiahmoo First Nation
- Cheney Cloke, director, Fraser Health Authority
- Elizabeth Model, CEO, Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association
- James Carwana, mediator and arbitrator
- Jaspreet Sunner, lawyer and labour relations representative, Hospital Employees’ Union
- Manav Gill, Manager, Clinical Operations, Fraser Health Authority
- Meena Brisard, Regional Director, Canadian Union of Public Employees
Following an extensive assessment and screening process, members were chosen by aligning individual skills, competencies and attributes with the needs and responsibilities of the board and to reflect the diversity of the community. Initial appointments will range from 12- to 18-month terms.
Under the Police Act, the board is required to establish and oversee the Surrey Police Department and is subject to oversight by the Director of Police Services, who has a statutory responsibility to superintend policing in B.C. The board has four main governance functions:
- employing the police and civilian employees;
- providing financial oversight for the police department;
- establishing policies and directions for the department; and
- managing service and policy complaints against the department.
The next step in the City of Surrey’s transition plan will be for the new board to hire a chief constable. Ministry staff will work with the board to assist in the transition process, including providing an orientation and training session in the coming weeks.
Facts about police boards in B.C.
- In 2018, Surrey city council voted unanimously to terminate their agreement with the RCMP and transition to a municipal police department, in accordance with their authority under the Police Act.
- Under the Police Act, municipalities over 5,000 people are responsible for police services in their communities and have the right to determine how those services are delivered.
- With the addition of Surrey, there will be 12 municipal police departments in B.C. serving the following 13 communities: Abbotsford, Delta, Central Saanich, Nelson, New Westminster, Oak Bay, Port Moody, Saanich, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria and Esquimalt, and West Vancouver. The RCMP serves all other B.C. municipalities.
- Under section 24.2(a) of the Police Act, an appointment term to a police board cannot be longer than four years; however, under section 24.2(b) and 24.3, board members may be reappointed to serve up to six consecutive years.
Diversity in B.C.’s police boards
- The Province’s overall goal is to have police boards that reflect the diversity of B.C., for strong and effective citizen-centred governance and police oversight.
- Women, visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and others who may contribute to diversity in public sector board appointments are encouraged to put their names forward for future vacancies.
- Since June 2017, there has been an almost 100% increase in visible minorities representing police boards throughout the province and 25% of appointments have been people of colour (up from 12.5%).