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Municipal Election 2022: Policing dominates Surrey mayoral race, once more

Not a achieved deal? The municipal election falls partway by means of Surrey’s transition from the RCMP to a municipal police power.

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Surrey voters will elect their subsequent mayor and council on Oct. 15, and for the second time in 4 years, contemplate who they wish to police their metropolis.

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The municipal election falls partway by means of Surrey’s transition from the RCMP to a municipal police power, a course of that started 4 years in the past when Mayor Doug McCallum and eight Protected Surrey Coalition councillors have been elected after campaigning to drop the Mounties.

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Moments after the swearing-in ceremony, council’s first movement was to create the Surrey Police Service. (SPS)

Mayor Doug McCallum poses with a prototype of a new Surrey police vehicle in the early days of his recent term as mayor. The police service’s logo has since been updated.
Mayor Doug McCallum poses with a prototype of a brand new Surrey police car within the early days of his current time period as mayor. The police service’s brand has since been up to date. Photograph by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

Some issues haven’t modified between the 2018 and 2022 elections. The RCMP stays in cost in Surrey, though the transition is effectively underway with 274 SPS officers employed to this point.

However the dialogue has additionally advanced over the past 4 years, with new candidates providing vastly completely different visions of what comes subsequent for Surrey’s police power, from staying the course, to reversing it.

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“I’m unsure folks wish to revisit or undo the transition,” stated Hamish Telford, an affiliate professor of political science on the College of the Fraser Valley. “Undoing what has already been achieved might develop into an costly proposition.”

However Telford stated there are additionally those that are adamantly towards the transition and can seemingly vote for Brenda Locke, the one candidate who’s vowing to retain the RCMP. Locke, who left Protected Surrey in 2019 over considerations about council’s transparency and is working for mayor with Surrey Join, just lately pegged the price of the transition at $521 million, excess of the $63.7 million finances.

“We can’t hold happening a transition that’s destabilizing policing in our metropolis and throughout the area,” she informed Postmedia Information, calling the transition a “failed experiment.”

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Coun. Brenda Locke at Surrey City Hall on April 25, 2022.
Coun. Brenda Locke at Surrey Metropolis Corridor on April 25, 2022. Photograph by Arlen Redekop /PNG

If McCallum wins, the transition will proceed. In a written response to Postmedia questions on policing, the social gathering pointed to McCallum’s “current accomplishments,” together with main Surrey council to unanimously approve the creation of the SPS “with native accountability.”

A number of candidates are promising extra accountability and transparency. Gordie Hogg and Surrey First have promised voters a referendum on policing if elected.

“Doug McCallum needs to push forward with the police transition, whatever the price,” he stated. “Brenda Locke, who ran with Doug and gained with Doug, now needs to cancel the transition and produce it to a screeching halt, once more whatever the prices.”

Hogg stated he needs budgets and timelines made public earlier than holding a referendum.

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Jinny Sims and Surrey Ahead additionally need extra data made public, vowing to freeze the transition for 90 days so a forensic audit might be performed, choices and prices made clear, and the knowledge shared with the general public. Metropolis council may also maintain public session on the problem.

“The Metropolis of Surrey is massive sufficient to have its personal power,” she informed Postmedia, “however the transition has develop into poisonous.”

Sims additionally took intention at Locke, accusing her in a information launch of “working away from her personal resolution.”

Sukh Dhaliwal and United Surrey steered away from the transition debate, promising to extend public security and construct a law-enforcement coaching facility in Surrey. Dhaliwal additionally plans to implement a three-tier system “that ensures well timed and acceptable citizen responses by higher using a mixture of regulation enforcement, mental-health professionals and bylaw officers.”

Amrit Birring and the Peoples Council Surrey plan to concentrate on bettering employment and decreasing the price of dwelling to fight crime.

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