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Following a unanimous motion of Council, the City is establishing a police department in Surrey that is accountable to a local Police Board and responsive to the changing needs of our growing and diverse city.

On February 27, 2020 Mayor McCallum announced that Surrey had received notification from the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General that he authorizes the establishment of the Surrey Police Board. This critical approval is now in place and creation of the new Surrey Police Board will begin.  

The Timeline below outlines the process to create the Surrey Police Department. 

The transition will occur in several key stages: 

Surrey Policing Transition Timeline: Steps Completed

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  • STEP ONE: Council Motion - Completed November 5, 2018 expand
    • On November 5, 2018 a unanimous motion of Council initiates the transition to a municipal police service. 
    • Provincial and Federal Governments are notified of the City’s intent to terminate the current agreement for policing (Municipal Police Unit Agreement) 

     

  • STEP TWO: State of the City - Completed May 7, 2019 expand
    • Launch Surrey Police brand
    • Mayor provides an update on the transition process in the annual State of the City address
  • STEP THREE: Citizen Engagement Launches - Completed May–June 2019 expand
    • Consultation and engagement events begin providing citizens with an opportunity to learn more about the transition and provide input on their priorities for the new Surrey Police Department.
  • STEP FOUR: Submit Transition Plan - Completed May 22, 2019 expand
    • Transition Plan submitted with input from Vancouver Police Department and City of Vancouver under a Technical Assistance Agreement 
  • STEP FIVE: Report on Citizen Input to Council - Completed July 22, 2019 expand
    • Citizen feedback collated into a report to Council to inform decision-making on the implementation of the Surrey Police Department 
  • STEP SIX: Interim Police Transition Advisory Committee Established - Completed July 22, 2019 expand
    • Interim Police Transition Advisory Committee established
  • STEP SEVEN: Approval of the Transition Plan - Completed August 22, 2019 expand
    • The City received the green light from the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General to establish Surrey’s municipal police department.
  • STEP EIGHT: Establishment of Joint Committee - Completed August 22, 2019 expand
    • The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Mayor McCallum announce a joint committee to oversee the police transition process to be chaired by the Honourable Wally Oppal.
  • STEP NINE: Joint Committee Submits Report - Completed December 23, 2019 expand
    • On December 23, 2019 the joint Provincial Municipal Policing Transition Study Committee completed its study of all areas requested by the Director, Police Services and forwarded the report to the Chair,  Hon. Wally Oppal. 
    • The Committee has reached consensus on the proposed approach to establish the Surrey Police Department.
  • STEP TEN: Appointment of a Police Board expand
    • Once approval is received from the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General the Surrey Police Board is established. 
    • Board candidates are selected based on their skills, qualifications and ability to represent the citizens of Surrey.

Surrey Policing Transition Timeline: Steps to Come

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  • STEP ELEVEN: Recruit Chief Constable expand
    • Recruitment of the Chief Constable and the SPD senior executive team begins.
  • STEP TWELVE: Officer Recruitment and Infrastructure expand
    • Officer Recruitment and training begins
    • Implementation of new infrastructure underway
  • STEP THIRTEEN: Surrey Police Department Established expand
    • Surrey Police Department legally established
    • Handover with RCMP (in development)
  • STEP FOURTEEN: Municipal Agreement Terminates expand
    • Municipal Agreement with the Province for RCMP terminates

More information will be provided as the implementation stage progresses and new elements of the transition blueprint are put in place.  

Overview

Surrey has grown rapidly from its roots as a suburban community to a major metropolitan hub of over half a million people.  It welcomes up to 1,000 new residents each month, making it one of the fastest growing cities in Canada. Surrey is also a young and diverse city, where a quarter of residents are under the age of 19 and over forty percent of residents speak languages other than English at home. 
 
Surrey shows no signs of slowing down and yet, it is the only major city of its size in Canada that does not have its own police service with a Police Board that allows for local accountability and decision-making.

Benefits

A City Police Department will:

  • Continue to enhance community safety through community-responsive approaches to policing
  • Emphasize collaboration with community partners to address underlying social issues
  • Improve accountability through a Police Board made up of local residents
  • Allocate resources based on local priorities and issues
  • Respond quickly to address new and emerging issues (e.g., opioid crisis)
  • Ensure policing and City priorities are aligned
  • Attract and retain sworn officers who can build their career in Surrey
  • Include members from diverse backgrounds that reflect our community

All over the world, approaches to policing have changed dramatically over time as the needs of communities evolve.  As Surrey continues to evolve and grow, a municipal police service will be able to respond quickly to the changing needs of our citizens.

Process

Across Canada, policing is a matter of Federal and Provincial oversight. BC’s Police Act provides municipalities with over 5,000 residents the option of choosing to have a city police department. In November 2018, Council voted unanimously to move forward with that option and served notice to the Province that it intended to establish its own city police.

Since that time, the City has been working to build the blueprint for the transition to a new policing model. Under a Technical Assistance Agreement, Vancouver Police Department and the City of Vancouver have provided valuable expertise and advice to help build a new community-responsive urban policing model that meets Surrey’s current and future needs. The plan was submitted in May 2019 to the Solicitor General of BC for review.

In June 2019 the City concluded its citizen engagement process and findings from the engagement was prepared for Council to review on July 22, 2019.

On August 22, 2019, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General and Mayor McCallum made a joint statement that the Province has given Surrey the green light to go ahead with the establishment of the Surrey Police Department. To this end, a joint committee has been struck that will be chaired by Hon. Wally Oppal and will oversee the next phase of the transition process. The City is now moving into implementation to put in place the necessary work to establish the new police department.

On December 23, 2019 the joint Provincial Municipal Policing Transition Study Committee completed its study of all areas requested by the Director, Police Services and forwarded the report to the Chair,  Hon. Wally Oppal. The Committee has reached consensus on the proposed approach to establish the Surrey Police Department.

On February 27, 2020 Mayor McCallum announced that Surrey has notification that the Minister has authorized the establishment of the Surrey Police Board. This is a critical step in creating the new municipal police service for Surrey.  Once the Police Board is in place it will assume authority for creating the new Surrey Police Department.