Surrey’s Integrity Now releases public safety strategy

Bruce Hayne

MAYORALTY candidate Bruce Hayne and the Integrity Now team on Monday released their commitment for a policing strategy for the city.

The plan includes a commitment to:
* Immediately create a transparent, appointed Surrey Police Board with citizen representation, replacing the current Public Safety Committee which is comprised of only Mayor and Council
* Enhance youth and community programs aimed at giving Surrey youth quality indoor and outdoor programming options in every neighbourhood in Surrey. Integrity Now commits to building a youth recreation hub in Newton, a community vastly underserved with civic facilities, in particular indoor recreation facilities
* Develop a new working relationship with the Surrey RCMP including hiring 40 additional police officers per year over the next four years for a total of 160 officers in this term
* Hire more Bylaw Enforcement officers in order to more rapidly address citizen complaints relative to safety issues​
* Advocate for significant prison terms for possession of illegal handguns and gang activity
* Work with the Federal Government to enhance border security at land crossings and shipping ports to reduce illegal firearms and drugs from reaching our streets
* Work with the RCMP and School District 36 to ensure there is a full time school liaison officer in every high school in Surrey
* Work in with the School District to place security cameras in the vicinity of schools to enhance public safety
* Work in partnership with the School District to support and enhance after school programs delivered at the schools to allow children and youth to stay active and safe on school property in the critical after school hours before dinner
* Enhance support for our community block watch programs throughout the city
* Support enhancing the RCMP Auxiliary Constable Program, which has been cut in recent years
* Work with City staff and the development community to encourage and speed up demolition permits for vacant houses slated for redevelopment
“Public safety is a complex and important issue in our community and we need to approach it in a comprehensive way,” said Hayne. “We commit to work closely with the community, our school district, the RCMP, and senior levels of government to effect real and positive change.”
The Integrity Now team includes 43-year RCMP officer, now retired, Dave Woods. Woods, who spent the last 15 years of his career in the Surrey detachment of the RCMP, is currently a Councillor.
“Policing needs a sustained effort and the Surrey RCMP need more resources to do the job they have to do in our city. This is an important time for Surrey, and the correct approach to how we move forward with policing is a big part of that,” said Woods. “I believe we, as the people of Surrey, can address crime together.”
Another Integrity Now candidate for city council, John Gibeau, who has worked as both a municipal police officer and an RCMP officer, and agrees with Councillor Woods on the need to “get it right”, added: “Our approach to policing in Surrey is going to set the course for the city our children and grandchildren will inherit. Integrity Now’s approach of thoughtful and smart initiatives that involve the community in a transparent way is absolutely the right approach, it’s refreshing to see and it makes me proud to be a part of this team.”