In 2018, the City of Surrey decided to move from the RCMP to its own municipal police service. The Province of BC approved this change and appointed a civilian Surrey Police Board, and Surrey Police Service (SPS) was officially established.

The policing transition is underway with over 200 SPS officers deployed into policing operations. During this first phase of the transition, the RCMP remain in charge of policing as SPS continues to grow.

Knowing the facts

  • In 2018, the City of Surrey requested a transition to a municipal police service. This request was approved by the Province of BC. 
  • The Province established the Surrey Police Board in 2020.
  • The Surrey Police Board established Surrey Police Service (SPS) in August 2020.
  • The three levels of government, RCMP, and SPS began the phased policing transition in November 2021.
  • Over 400 police officers and civilian employees have been hired.
  • Over 200 SPS officers have been deployed into policing operations.
  • In July 2023, the Province reaffirmed their decision that the transition to SPS would continue to ensure public safety for Surrey and throughout BC (see the Province's news release). The Minister of Public Safety appointed Jessica McDonald to facilitate the completion of the transition to SPS.
  • In October 2023, the Police Amendment Act, 2023, was passed. This legislation requires the City of Surrey to provide policing services through a municipal police department (see the Province's news release).
  • Municipal policing brings many benefits that are not provided by the RCMP. See the benefits of municipal policing.
  • Learn more about Surrey's policing transition and the role of the the Province at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/public-safety/surreypolicetransition.

Financial updates for the SPS operational budget and the one-time policing transition budget are posted regularly on the Surrey Police Board website.

SPS's 2024 provisional budget is $141.5M. Based on the City of Surrey’s current financial reports, our 2024 budget accounts for only 42% of the City's allocated policing funds. Read more about our 2024 budget here

The one-time policing transition budget was established by City Council to support the infrastructure development of SPS over five years, covering start-up expenses including equipment and IT. In 2020, this budget was increased to $63.7M following decision to build new IT infrastructure rather than using the current aging technology.

The unionization of the RCMP has increased costs for all RCMP-policed municipalities, closing the gap in costs between the RCMP and municipal police. In addition, the federal 10% cost-share that comes with RCMP contract service comes with a cost to the municipality, as it allows the RCMP and governments to retain some control over detachment resources, including deployments to emergencies and major events.

Surrey Police Service is an investment in the future of our rapidly developing city. Public safety is an area where you want the best service, not the least expensive.

View SPS financial updates

The hiring of SPS officers is aligned with human resources (HR) plans that are agreed to by the transition parties. These plans guide the deployment of SPS officers and demobilization of RCMP officers. 

A 2024 HR plan is currently in development, however the SPS 2024 provisional budget is based on the hiring of 180 additional police officers. (View the previous 2022-23 SPS-RCMP HR Plan.)

In total, SPS plans to have 860 officers by the end of 2027. This is aligned with the number of officers approved for policing in the City of Surrey’s 2023-2027 Financial Plan (734 officers plus 25-26 additional officers per year, as noted in Corporate Report F004 p. 4).

SPS regularly hires both recruits and experienced officers. Recruits are hired for the three annual Police Academy classes at the Justice Institute of BC. They undergo ten months of training and are then deployed in Surrey. Experienced officers are hired for upcoming deployments and to support the extensive work required to build a police agency. Like any organization that is staffing up, SPS needs to hire an appropriate mix of ranks, experience levels, and skill sets to ensure we have the proper structure, supervision, and mix of job functions as we grow.

SPS implemented several strategies to ensure our hiring does not destabilize policing in the region:

  • Staggered hiring
  • Recruiting locally and nationally (SPS officers come from 25 different agencies)
  • Consultation with police chiefs to understand any of their hiring/staffing challenges
  • Not over-hiring from any one police agency – particularly smaller agencies
SPS Staffing (as of Feb 2024)
  • Sworn Police Officers: 357
    • Senior Officers: 29
    • Staff Sergeants: 18
    • Sergeants: 78
    • Constables: 223
    • Females: 72 (20%); Males: 285 (80%)
    • Visible Minorities (self-identified): 154 (43%); Indigenous: 18 (5%)
  • Civilian Employees: 60

The deployment of SPS officers into policing operations is being done in phased and integrated manner to ensure a seamless and safe transition. Currently, SPS officers work under the operational command of the RCMP, which is the police of jurisdiction at this time. SPS will take over command of policing as the transition progresses.

Groups of SPS officers are regularly integrated into the Surrey RCMP detachment, as RCMP officers are redeployed to other RCMP detachments/units. These group deployments began in November 2021 and today there are over 200 SPS officers deployed into policing operations within the Surrey RCMP detachment.

SPS officers are currently deployed to:

  • Frontline policing
  • Investigative sections
  • Gang enforcement
  • Traffic services
  • Police mental health outreach
  • Community response

The SPS officers who are not currently deployed into the RCMP detachment are serving other important functions:

  • Those who are waiting for deployment spots to become available in the RCMP are temporarily doing work to support the building of SPS.
  • Other officers are serving in the policing administrative positions they were hired for. Like all police agencies, SPS has a number of administrative and support units such as Recruiting, Employee Services/HR, and Training. While the officers in these units are not ‘deployed’ into the blended SPS/RCMP operations, they are actively performing the jobs they were hired to do. Ensuring a timely transition to SPS will reduce costs by eliminating the administrative overlap of running two police agencies in Surrey.
  • November 2018: City Council passes motion to establish a municipal police service 
  • February 2020: Provincial government approves transition process 
  • June 2020: Province of BC establishes Surrey Police Board 
  • August 2020: Police Board creates Surrey Police Service 
  • November 2020: Chief Constable selected 
  • January - February 2021: Deputy Chiefs hired
  • March 2021: Agreement signed for CUPE 402 to represent civilian employees 
  • May 2021: SPS crest, vision and values revealed 
  • June 2021: SPS launches community consultation 
  • July 2021: First swearing-in ceremony held for SPS police officers 
  • August 2021: Surrey Police Union certified to represent SPS police officers 
  • September 2021: SPS surpasses100 staff hired 
  • November 2021: Operational deployment of first group of SPS officers 
  • February 2022: First SPS Strategic Plan released 
  • March 2022: Collective Bargaining Agreement reached with Surrey Police Union
  • April 2022: First class of recruits begins with SPS 
  • July 2022: SPS surpasses 100 officers deployed into policing operations
  • August 2022: SPS becomes second largest municipal police agency in BC
  • November 2022: Surrey Police Inspector's Association is established
  • January 2023: SPS surpasses 200 officers deployed into policing operations
  • March 2023: First SPS recruit class graduates from the JIBC
  • July 2023: Province makes binding decision to complete the transition to SPS
  • October 2023: Police Amendment Act, 2023 passed, requiring Surrey to be policed by a municipal police service
  • January 2024: SPS surpasses 400 staff hired