See why these individuals chose to join Surrey Police Service (SPS)
Inspector Rachel Milne
Inspector Milne brings 26 years of frontline policing experience to SPS and with it, a strong commitment to helping SPS recruit the right people for the job. “It’s important to recognize that not everyone is suited to a career in policing,” she explains. “With the robust recruitment process that we’ve developed at SPS, we’re taking multiple steps to ensure that we attract recruits who are well-suited to this profession, with a high level of emotional intelligence and the necessary resilience to enjoy a healthy and successful career.”
One of her primary reasons for joining SPS was the vision of the Leadership Team to build a wrap around service of care and wellness for both civilian and sworn officers.
Insp. Milne is also member of SPS’s Women in Leadership Committee, which is working to ensure SPS is truly gender-inclusive – from the functionality and fit of female officer uniforms, to benefits that support employees who want to have families while pursuing a career, to scheduling, policy development, and promotional processes. “To be as inclusive as we possibly can, we have to re-think traditional policing environments,” says Insp. Milne, “We strive to eliminate barriers and systemic bias.”
Sergeant Andrea Martens
Sergeant Martens is part of the Employee Services Section, where she supports employees with career development, wellness, and support after critical incidents. Sgt. Martens has 14 years of experience in policing that includes work on the frontline, major crime, and recruiting. Andrea saw SPS as a great opportunity to serve and strengthen her community, and to help make it safer for everyone in Surrey.
“I joined SPS because of the opportunities it offers – we will have a wide range of specialized units with exciting and interesting work, and the leadership is very progressive and supportive of diversity,” she says. “It was also an opportunity to serve and strengthen my community – to help make it safer, not just for my neighbours, but for all the stakeholders in Surrey. There’s a real focus within our organization on meeting the needs of the community. We think beyond the typical public safety solutions to issues around representation, communication, and relationship-building.”
“I love coming to work every day – everyone at SPS is here because they want to be, you can see it in their work ethic and enthusiasm. We’re all attentive to the work of building a strong, skilled, diverse team.”
Nathan Wong is our Senior Manager of Finance at Surrey Police Service. Nathan brings well over a decade of financial management leadership and experience from the non-profit sector, most recently as a director in community and social services. He received his MBA from Laurentian University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. He also has the unique distinction of being our first financial services civilian employee. He’ll be working on building the financial operations and management practices for SPS, developing a budgeting process, and working with a variety of stakeholders. "It's an exciting opportunity to lead the development and financial management practices of a new police service," said Nathan Wong. "It's my goal to establish best practices that are transparent and diligently manage our resources."
Constable Gagandeep Nagi
Constable Nagi was among the first group of 50 experienced SPS officers deployed in Surrey. He came with 4 years of experience in patrol and crime prevention, and a background in the military and corrections.
He joined SPS for his career, but also to support his community.
“As a person who is helping to support his aging parents, I wanted to join an agency where I could build a rewarding and stable career without having to move and leave family behind. And, as a practicing Sikh, I believe deeply in serving the community. Community policing is all about getting involved and being proactive; getting out on the streets, talking to people, and building the relationships that create trust.”
Since coming to SPS, Cst. Nagi has been impressed by the positive internal culture.
“There’s a lot of support – a lot of smiles on peoples’ faces. Everyone is bringing the best practices from their previous agencies and looking for ways to build something new and modern.”
As a first-generation immigrant, Cst. Nagi has an insider’s view of what it is like to be torn between traditional and Western cultures – and how gangs often recruit from within that gap.
“Based on my own experiences, I feel like I can talk to kids on their level and, as my career develops, I’m hoping to work in sections dealing with youth and gang prevention. If, over the course of my career, I can help one child get onto the right path, I’ll have accomplished what I set out to do.”
Constable Andrew Cortes
Constable Cortes is an instructor in our Training Section who brings 27 years of experience in patrol, traffic and training to SPS. His time at two different police agencies has given him an informed view of what officers on-the-frontline need, and he’s excited to establish Operational Skills Unit from scratch with a like-minded and experienced team.
“We all come from other agencies, and we know what works, what doesn’t, and what can be improved. We’re integrating all of the different training philosophies and ideas – looking at how to build skills and confidence – and implementing the practices that will work best for Surrey.”
Cst. Cortes speaks with enthusiasm about some of the progressive policing programs that the group is teaching, such as Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT).
“ICAT emphasizes the use of calm communication and dialogue in dealing with a subject, so that you can de-escalate a situation when it’s safe to do so. We’re also working with other agencies within the City of Surrey in ways that haven’t been done before.”
Since joining SPS in July 2021, Cst. Cortes has watched SPS grow. “I joined because it was an opportunity to be part of something historic, and to train the next generation of police officers in modern and progressive policing practices. We’re literally building the training program from the ground up – we’ve gone from having no equipment, to being the first agency in BC to have a modular training centre with moveable walls. It allows us to configure different scenarios for our officers as they move through a range of home and building environments.”