FAQs for Recruits
Preparing to apply to SPS
How can I ensure I am a competitive applicant?
SPS has set a high standard for recruiting to ensure we hire the highest quality police officers. Applicants can make themselves more competitive through self-improvement in areas such as:
Do you accept applicants from other provinces or countries? Is the application process different?
As long as you meet SPS’s minimum requirements, which include being a Canadian Citizen or having Permanent Resident status, we welcome your application. The application process for all recruits is the same, regardless of where you currently live.
Can I apply if I used/currently use cannabis?
Yes. If you have used cannabis in Canada since it was legalized, then it is unlikely to have any effect on your application. However, any illicit drug use could impact your application depending on the circumstances, frequency and how long ago it occurred. It is a requirement of SPS that its employees are fit for duty. (Please review SPS policy)
Can I apply if I have used illegal drugs in the past?
Yes, however, any illicit drug use could impact your application depending on various factors such as the type of drug(s) used; the amount/frequency of use; and how recently the drugs were used. It is a requirement of SPS that its employees are fit for duty (please review SPS Policy).
We recognize that people make mistakes, and they learn from them. Life experience is an important element of a well-rounded police officer. Having made some questionable decisions in the past does not necessarily prevent you from being hired by SPS.
Each applicant’s drug use is evaluated in totality and on a case-by-case basis. Our selection process is thorough and includes in-depth interviews, a polygraph examination, and a background investigation. When a candidate discloses illegal activity, we will discuss the incident or activity with you and an assessment will be made.
Can I apply if I have been charged and convicted of a criminal code offence?
No. You cannot have a criminal conviction for which a pardon has not been granted and you cannot have any criminal charges pending to be a qualified applicant with the SPS.
Is the development of SPS going ahead?
SPS is approved to move forward. The transition to a municipal police service was endorsed by Surrey City Council in 2018. Since that time, the Province of BC has established a Surrey Police Board, and the Board established the Surrey Police Service in 2020. Please visit our policing transition page for more information.
The Surrey Policing Transition Trilateral Committee (SPTTC), made up of representatives from the three levels of government, agreed to a phased transition process and the first group of 50 SPS officers assumed operational policing duties in December 2021. The officers were assigned to positions within the RCMP Municipal Police Unit in Surrey (i.e. Surrey RCMP).
SPS continues to work with all three levels of government and the RCMP through the many complexities of the largest police transition in Canada.
The mandate for a municipal police service has been set and the SPS is 100% committed to fulfilling that mandate in the most methodical and respectful ways possible.
Do you respond to all applications?
Yes. Our goal is to confirm the status of your application as soon as possible, however it may take our recruitment team 8-12 weeks to be in touch. We want to ensure we give each application our full attention. We thank you for your patience.
Does the application process have any costs?
There will likely be some costs associated to the pre-application process that you will be responsible for. These may include costs associated to obtaining the supporting documentation that will accompany your application such as obtaining copies of your driving abstract, vision report, audiometric report, passport sized photos, educational transcripts, Police Information Check, etc. Once your application is accepted, costs associated to the hiring process such as Intake Exam, POPAT, pre-employment psychological testing, medical and polygraph, are covered by SPS.
Once hired, you will attend three blocks of training at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) Police Academy in New Westminster, BC. Recruit Constables receive a base salary and benefits while undergoing recruit training at the JIBC, but Recruits are responsible to pay for their own program tuition (approximately $11,600).
Positions and working conditions
What positions will new recruits be placed in at SPS?
As a new recruit, you should expect to spend the first several years of your SPS career working in the Community Policing Bureau as a Patrol Constable. Once you have built a strong foundation of policing skills, you will be able to branch out into more specialized areas of policing.
What support and specialized sections will SPS have?
SPS will have all the support and specialized sections that would be expected of one of the largest municipal police agencies in the country. These will include sections that support youth, vulnerable persons, trafficking, traffic/serious collisions, diversity and Indigenous relations, and more. SPS will also be progressive in developing new units to meet the needs of our diverse community.
Will SPS be joining the Lower Mainland Integrated Services/Teams?
Yes, SPS will be a part of the Integrated Teams serving the Lower Mainland, which include:
Will SPS have Community Constables or Special Constables?
Community Safety personnel figure prominently into our policing philosophy and our goal will be to have them in place once we are fully operational. Having frontline police officers in place is our first priority.
How will the SPS promotional process work?
The promotional processes for SPS are still being developed, however they will include various strategies to assess readiness, skills, abilities and leadership characteristics.
What will the frontline shift pattern look like?
During the first phase of the transition, the model will follow the shift schedule used by the Surrey RCMP. Typically, frontline shifts are rotating, 11-12 hours (four on, four off) and have multiple start times to best address peak policing periods. Consideration is being given to multiple models from across the country and any future changes will be driven by call response data and operating procedures that will best serve the City of Surrey, ensuring public safety and employee wellness.
Will the SPS be implementing two-person patrol cars?
As a major municipal police department, Chief Constable Lipinski is considering some two-person patrol vehicles.
When will SPS start deploying officers? When will SPS be fully operational?
The first SPS officers were deployed in 2021 to operational policing duties within the Surrey RCMP. An exact timeline for when SPS will become the police of jurisdiction will need to be agreed upon by the three levels of government, in consultation with the Surrey RCMP.
Training and equipment
What ongoing training will I receive?
Initially, new recruits are trained at the Justice Institute of BC (JIBC) Police Academy. Thereafter, SPS encourages professional development on an ongoing basis, including ongoing training in our in-house Training Centre. Additional courses and training with the Justice Institute, partner agencies, post-secondary and internal development programs will all be available to SPS members throughout their careers.
What equipment will SPS officers use?
Uniform and body armour will be new for SPS officers and will be light and flexible. Service handguns will be the Glock Generation 5. SPS will also have communal carbines, and a number of other use of force options and equipment for each officer that is currently being determined.
Will SPS offer an educational program to support the ongoing pursuit of learning for their officers and civilian staff?
We have a dedicated leadership development training team and a commitment to learning. Leadership training is very important to SPS and we will make a concerted effort to train all staff, and to continue training and development as members move up in rank.
For investigative training, SPS is looking to build a program where there is a continuum of training from Constable to Commander.
SPS will also allocate three days a year for operational skills training, which will include de-escalation, active shooter, and other reality-based training. SPS is also researching resiliency-based training for health and wellness.