Eyes on Sur­rey, B.C., as it moves to re­place RCMP with lo­cal po­lice force

The Miracle - - Crime & Law Enf. -

SUR­REY, B.C. — Anti-gang ad­vo­cate Sukhi Sandhu says he will be watch­ing closely as the new city coun­cil in Sur­rey, B.C., at­tempts what many lo­cal govern­ments be­fore have con­sid­ered but few have done: re­plac­ing its RCMP with a mu­nic­i­pal po­lice force. The city just east of Van­cou­ver is among the fastest grow­ing in the province, with a young and di­verse com­mu­nity that speaks more than 100 dif­fer­ent lan­guages and where about one-third of its res­i­dents are un­der 19. It’s ex­pected to sur­pass Van­cou­ver in pop­u­la­tion as the largest city in B.C. by 2041. With that growth, the long­time res­i­dent said he’s con­cerned about gun vi­o­lence in­volv­ing youth, even as the RCMP says over­all crime is on the de­cline. When two teenagers were found dead on a ru­ral road in what po­lice called a tar­geted shoot­ing in June, Sandhu said many in the city felt the same way: “Enough is enough.” An­swer­ing that prob­lem will re­quire a mul­ti­lay­ered ap­proach in­volv­ing po­lice, as well as schools, fam­i­lies and politi­cians, he said. “We have no hes­i­ta­tion in say­ing that we are at a cri­sis point so­cially in Sur­rey,” said Sandhu, who is a spokesman with the anti­gang vi­o­lence group Wake Up Sur­rey.

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