Report on Nova Scotia massacre provides overwhelming proof as to why Surrey needs municipal police force

VOICE Opinion Column


YOU would have to be living on another planet to not realize that Surrey — the ONLY large city in Canada that does not have its own municipal police force – really needs to carry on with the ongoing transition from the RCMP to the Surrey Police Service.

Of course, if your son is an RCMP officer in Surrey – like in the case of former Mountie Rob Stutt, the Surrey Connect Councillor who never disclosed that fact while voting to keep the RCMP in Surrey or even during or after the municipal election – you may vehemently disagree with this writer.

But this involves the very lives of the residents of Surrey!

The final report of the Mass Casualty Commission on the worst mass shooting in Canadian history in which 22 people lost their lives in Nova Scotia just three years ago “has pointed a stern finger at a litany of RCMP failures and inadequacies,” as the Toronto Star put it.

It said that the final report “outlines the RCMP’s failure to act on previous red flags related to the gunman, its lack of preparedness for a mass casualty event, its response to the incident itself and the force’s communication with the public and with victims’ families during and after the shootings.”

And The Globe and Mail reported: “The report was critical of the RCMP’s operational tactics, decision-making and supervision and said the mass shooting demonstrates the need for faster responses to critical incidents, improved 911 communications, better air support during manhunts and a clear policy prohibiting alcohol consumption by officers responding to calls.”

It added: “It calls for a transformation within the force, starting with recruiting and training – and says the current 26-week model of training in Regina no longer meets the complex demands of policing. The academy should be replaced with a three-year, degree-based model of education, as exists in Finland.”

Commenting on the report, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that it “confirms what many Nova Scotians already suspected: that the RCMP failed to prevent or contain the gunman’s rampage, and that their response was inadequate and disorganized.”

He also noted: “The culture of systemic racism within the RCMP will never be addressed until the government implements these reforms [that had been recommended by the Public Safety committee] and appoints a commissioner who is committed to real change.”

In other words, the RCMP is in a COMPLETE MESS.

And we definitely do NOT need such a force to mess up Surrey!