Surrey RCMP celebrate 70 years of service to the community

MAY 1, 2021, marked the 70th anniversary of the RCMP’s service in the City of Surrey. Over seven decades the Surrey RCMP have grown from 15 officers serving a population of 35,000 in 1951 from the Cloverdale detachment, to over 1,100 officers and staff working out of seven offices serving a growing and diverse city of over half a million people.

The RCMP say they proudly look back on 70 years of service to the community and the many outreach, intervention and investigative initiatives developed here in Surrey. Behind every call for service, file or program are the people – the officers, employees, volunteers, residents, business owners and community partners, who have been instrumental in shaping our detachment.

“There are many accomplishments to be proud of when looking back on our local policing history,” says Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards, Officer in charge of Surrey RCMP. “Each success and innovation has been possible through the everyday contributions of our people and the incredible support from the community and partners.”

The Surrey RCMP say they remain committed to working with the community to reduce crime using three streams that form the basis of their Service Delivery Model. Examples of some of the local programs developed by the Surrey RCMP over the past 70 years include:

Outreach, Education and Prevention

* Surrey RCMP was one of the first detachments to have a dedicated Diversity and Indigenous Peoples Unit. This team works with Surrey’s diverse communities to promote public safety, conduct presentations and internal training to staff. Surrey RCMP officers and employees provide service to the public in over 50 different languages.
* Police worked directly with Surrey youth to help form two local programs designed for students and parents. Shattering the Image, an anti-gang presentation, was inspired from the experiences of two of the officers with the Surrey Gang Enforcement Team. Project Lavender, created in 2019, was designed to empower young women to discover their self worth and make positive choices.

Intervention and Diversion

* Surrey RCMP was one of the first police agencies to build a Car 67 program over 20 years ago, which has since been adopted in several other municipalities. Car 67 pairs a police officer and psychiatric nurse to respond to mental health calls. The program is part of the Police Mental Health Outreach Team which focuses on helping vulnerable citizens who have contact with police or require an emergency response.
* In order to address the many complex issues related to calls of domestic violence, the Surrey RCMP Intimate Partner Violence Unit was formed in 2015 bringing together police officers, victim services, social workers from the Ministry of Children and Family Development as well as Circle 5 Indigenous Family and Child Services and support workers from Surrey Women’s Centre.

Enforcement and Suppression

* In response to an increase in property crime and auto thefts experienced in early 2000’s, Surrey became one of first police agencies in British Columbia to embed crime analysts in specialized units like the Auto Crime Target Team. With increased intelligence gathering from analysts, officers were able to focus on the small percentage of individuals committing the vast majority of the crime. It was a move that helped reduce property crime in the city, and modernize policing in Surrey.
* The Surrey Gang Enforcement Team launched the Inadmissible Patrons Program (IPP) in 2018 as another tool to deter gangsters from conducting business in licensed bars and restaurants in Surrey. IPP is an additional tool that officer’s can use to reinforce Surrey detachment’s overall gang prevention efforts through a combination of enforcement and early intervention.
As the Surrey RCMP celebrate their history they also acknowledge the five members who tragically lost their lives in the line of duty. They continue to be a part of the heart and soul of the detachment. The ultimate sacrifice made by Constable Archille Lepine, Constable Roger Pierlet, Constable John Terrance Draginda, Constable John Baldwinson and Constable Adrian Oliver changed the Surrey RCMP forever, and they continue to honour these members every day.

Follow Surrey RCMP on Twitter and Facebook #ServingSurrey as they continue to look back on 70 years of proud service throughout the month of May.