Would a municipal police force make Surrey safer ?
Surrey’s mayor-elect is adamant that he will deliver on his campaign pledge to replace the RCMP with a dedicated municipal police force, but critics of the plan are raising concerns about how much the transition would cost, how long it could take and if it would ultimately improve safety in a city plagued by gun violence. “It will cost us a little bit more money for our police force, but the people of Surrey tell us very clearly they’re willing to pay a little more to make their community safe,” Doug McCallum told CTV News earlier this week. McCallum cited the fact that the city already owns much of the equipment and infrastructure used by Mounties, including vehicles and community police stations, and staff with the Canadian Union of Public Employees already run much of the administrative side. The federal government, he added, only pays 10 per cent of police officers’ salaries, while the city covers the other 90 per cent. But another Metro Vancouver municipality that has considered such a transition said the move would likely cost more than just “a little bit more” and would be more complex than McCallum has made it out to be. “We have one-third of the size of a detachment that Surrey has, so if it’s going to cost us $19 million to $20 million dollars in transitional costs, how much is it going to cost Surrey?” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, who was re-elected Saturday. Source: bc.ctvnews.ca