Chief’s next three steps will be community consultation, a strategic plan and boots on the ground.

What really drives us is making a difference to the citizens of Surrey.” Chief Norm Lipinski

On May 12, Chief Norm Lipinski discussed different aspects of the transition to municipal policing in Surrey during a Board of Trade digital town hall. Here are the headlines and a recording of the event in case you missed it:

  1. SPS structure is set up, senior command staff in place, designated a Category 1 Policing Body by the Federal Government.
  2. Recognized by the Independent Investigations Office (civilian-led police oversight agency in B.C.).
  3. Recruitment unit being stood up; ready to launch within 3-5 weeks.
  4. We are looking at a number of different options for operational deployment; no decisions made yet, but many stakeholders involved in determining best path forward.
  5. This is a complex project; we are following business principles, utilizing data and placing strong emphasis on the community.

#SPSFactsWe are very organized—a small and mighty team—the spirit, energy, enthusiasm…you feel it every day.  Chief Norm Lipinski

  1. SPS will be part of Lower Mainland Integrated Teams:
    • Emergency Response Team (ERT)
    • Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service (ICARS)
    • LMD Integrated Forensic Identification Service (IFIS)
    • Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT)
    • Integrated Police Dog Services (IPDS)
  2. Chief is in constant dialogue with police counterparts and appreciates the helpful advice and suggestions SPS is receiving.

#SPSFacts: Community consultation will include surveys and focus groups. Surrey has five policing districtsthere could be a need for different policing models for some of those districts so the surveys will be tailored to each district.  

  1. Strategic Plan—every organization needs one. Goals will be set that Chief will report on every quarter to the Surrey Police Board, and by extension, to the public.
  2. Chief’s personal goal is to have some boots on the ground in the fall of 2021. The transition will gain momentum from there, moving into 2022-2023.
  3. Chief is a big fan of prevention and early intervention, but a self-proclaimed hardliner when it comes to gangs. The police community and the citizens of B.C. must work together closely to move forward (to tackle the gang issue). “Police need to take advantage of all tools available to them in taking away of assets from gang members.”
  4. Chief wants to review all crime prevention programs in Surrey, once SPS is operationalized.
  5. SPS will have yearly community consultations and frequent surveys (e.g., every 1-2 years).
  6. Chief would like to have sessions with newcomers to Surrey to help describe what policing is like in Canada.
  7. Chief believes in creating a bond between youth and policing; community and School Board will determine what kind of police model they want.
  8. Character and overcoming adversity: Two things that Chief believes are central to making a great police officer.
  9. Policing is a very tough job and you need to appreciate the conditions and/or backgrounds that influence peoples’ choices.  
  10. “I like people who come from people/customer service industries; they understand how to talk to people and connect with the community.”
  11. Community Safety Officers (peace officers) will come back to Surrey to do crime prevention and other work that will help keep officers focused on higher-level policing work.
  12. Each Surrey district will have an Inspector in charge of that community to work on crime prevention and to nurture the connection to police to make Surrey as safe as possible.
  13. Orderly, methodical deployment will allow for a safe and successful, phased transition.
  14. Local control: If the community wants something changed and the Police Board agrees, “we make that change.”

#SPSFacts “There are a lot of victims of property crime and we shouldn’t dismiss that as ‘it’s just a stolen bike out of someone’s garage.’  If it’s important to that victim, it’s important to me.” Chief Norm Lipinski