Surrey policing decision expected to be announced by B.C. government

B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth will be making an announcement at 11:45 a.m. regarding Surrey policing.

surrey policing decision expected to be announced by b.c. government

The event will be live-streamed above.

The announcement is expected to be about the transition between the Surrey RCMP and the Surrey Police Service.

The transition, which began in 2018 under former mayor Doug McCallum, ran into speedbumps after current Mayor Brenda Locke was elected on a pledge to stop it and keep the RCMP.

The province ultimately ordered Surrey to complete the transition and replaced the Surrey Police Board with a special administrator to push the work through.

In November, the administrator appointed to replace the police board projected Surrey Police Service officers would outnumber their RCMP counterparts by the end of 2024.

In April, the City of Surrey rejected a funding deal to help offset the costs of its transition to a municipal police force.

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Farnworth said the city had approached the province to negotiate the transition to the Surrey Police Service (SPS) in January, leading to a deal package the province offered with an April deadline.

Farnworth said that despite Locke indicating previously that the council had agreed in principle to the financial commitment, the city ultimately opted not to take the deal.

The agreement would have provided Surrey with a previously reported $150 million over five years to help complete the transition.

On top of that, the province had committed to providing up to $20 million a year for the five years after that should the SPS cost the city more than the RCMP between 2029 and 2034.

“This agreement would have given people certainty that there would be no reason for police-related tax increases for at least a decade,” Farnworth said.

With the deal rejected, Farnworth said the offer was “finished” but that the province will put the original $150 million directly into funding the completion of the police transition.

“Any additional costs that end up getting passed on to the people of Surrey are the result of the failure of the mayor and council,” Farnworth said.

-with files from Simon Little

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