Statement from Chief Lipinski on Surrey Council Vote
“Surrey Police Service (SPS) is extremely disappointed by the Surrey City Council decision to transition back to the RCMP, despite the fact that three years’ worth of financial and human investments have gone into building a local, independent police service for Surrey.
“It is concerning that Council has made this decision, despite the Province of BC’s clear and evidence-based recommendation that the City of Surrey continue its transition to SPS in order to ensure public safety for Surrey and across BC.
“While the City has rendered its decision, it is important to note that the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General has not yet approved a transition back to the RCMP. As per the BC Police Act, the Minister is responsible for ensuring an adequate and effective level of policing is maintained throughout BC – he would need to be satisfied that can occur with a transition back to the RCMP. The Minister must also be satisfied that the City’s plan to transition back to the RCMP meets the binding, non-negotiable conditions laid out in the Director of Police Services’ report.
“I remain unwavering in my belief that SPS is the right decision for Surrey for today and for its bright future. A large modern city needs a modern police agency that can provide officers dedicated to the community and leading-edge practices.
“After years of uncertainty regarding the future of policing in Surrey, SPS is imploring the Province to provide a clear and swift response to Council’s decision in the coming days. Our 400 employees are understandably extremely concerned for their livelihoods. They left their previous jobs – and in some cases uprooted their families – in good faith, knowing this project had been approved by government to move forward over three years ago. They deserve a resolution once and for all, as do Surrey residents and business owners. It is past time for a clear and safe path forward for Surrey policing.
“As we wait for the Minister's final determination on the future of policing in Surrey, our SPS officers and staff continue to serve the residents of Surrey now as they did in their first deployment over 18 months ago."
Surrey Police Service