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British Columbia sets target date for Surrey police transition plan
In image Minister Mike Farnworth/ courtesy: Wikimedia commons

British Columbia sets target date for Surrey police transition plan

| @indiablooms | 25 Apr 2024, 09:29 am

Surrey/IBNS: British Columbia has set a target date for the Surrey police transition plan for the Surrey Police Service to assume policing and law enforcement in the city.

The provincial and federal officials agreed on March 27 to a pathway to allow the B.C. RCMP provide temporary transitional support to the SPS for the remainder of the transition period till the SPS assumes jurisdiction as the city’s police service.

B.C. and federal officials will continue their work finalizing this pathway in collaboration with the SPS and the B.C. RCMP in determining these transitional supports and delivered through an operational cooperation and assistance arrangement.

On Nov 29, the Surrey Police Service (SPS) will become the police of jurisdiction and from then will be responsible for policing and law enforcement on behalf of the City of Surrey.

Under a temporary operational cooperation and assistance arrangement, the provincial police service, the B.C. RCMP will remain active in Surrey, providing support to the SPS until the transition is completed, with both agencies working together.

The city of Surrey asked the province In Jan 2024 to negotiate an agreement to help it complete the transition to the SPS, resolve the conflict, and provide certainty and support to the people of Surrey.

Although Brenda Locke, mayor of Surrey, and the city council rejected an agreement that included a 10-year financial commitment, the Province will use the $150 million to support the transition directly until it is completed.

“The people of Surrey have told us…we’re taking action to ensure safety and certainty for people in Surrey…People’s safety – in Surrey and across the province – is non-negotiable, and today I am setting the…next step toward completing this transition, which the city is required by law to do,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

The identification of this date followed careful consideration of public safety, the progress completed to date and the significant work underway to finalize the transition including operationalizing transitional supports the B.C.

RCMP provides and other steps to ensure the SPS will meet the practical and statutory requirements to become Surrey’s police of jurisdiction.

“We are excited to be building an outstanding municipal police service that is tailor made for Surrey, and we are honoured to serve the residents and business owners of Surrey.” said Norm Lipinski, chief constable of the Surrey Police Service.

As agreed between the Province and municipalities that have RCMP detachments as their local policing service, a notice to the City of Surrey will be issued by Farnworth in the coming weeks  to terminate the Municipal Police Unit Agreement. .

While the RCMP will continue to work collaboratively through the transition, it will cease providing municipal policing services when Surrey’s agreement is terminated and the SPS becomes the police of jurisdiction.

From this point forward, the RCMP’s B.C. provincial police service will be providing any required RCMP support and assistance.

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

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