Surrey council to revisit police transition issues at Monday's meeting

The controversy over the future of policing in the city of Surrey will be debated again during Monday's council meeting and as Julie Nolin reports, a newly released report requested by the province is missing some key details.

The controversial issue of the future of policing in Surrey is set to be debated once again.

A report requested by the province will be presented at Monday’s meeting, outlining the process of transitioning away from a municipal police force.

That report outlines ways to keep the RCMP in the city after council voted to stop the transition two weeks ago.

It says Surrey RCMP will have to hire 161 additional officers suggesting plucking recruits from the Surrey Police Service.

But, those within the SPS’s union have expressed an overwhelming commitment to stay with the local force.

More than 93 per cent signed a pledge stating they would not work for the Surrey RCMP.

Surrey city councillor Doug Elford also takes issue with the money already spent at a cost of more than $100 million.

“The train has left the station, and I believe this process is so far down the road that we can’t turn it around,” said Elford.

“To go back to where we started is wrong. The report is weak as it is.”

Experts said the report is lacking critical information and does not give Surrey residents the full scope of the costs.

“What is missing here is the cost of implications to the taxpayers of Surrey if SPS is cancelled and that’s going to be very very significant,” said Kash Heed, former BC Liberal solicitor general.

“I don’t think they have done their homework. This is a convoluted report that is going to create more of a debate on what we should do in policing in a city that has so many issues around crime and public safety.”

Surrey city council will discuss the report Monday in advance of the last vote on their plan on December 12, from there a final decision will have to be made by the province.

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