The Kitimat RCMP responded to false alarms, an apartment fire and more between Jan. 29 to Feb. 3, 2021. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Sparwood backs campaign to study Surrey RCMP impact

The City of Surrey is home to the largest RCMP detachment in the province

Sparwood councillors have voted to write a letter of support in a campaign asking the provincial government to commission a feasibility study into flow-on effects from the City of Surrey withdrawing from using the RCMP.

The City of Surrey, in Metro Vancouver, is seeking to transition from using the RCMP to using its own municipal police department. Surrey is home to the largest detachment of RCMP officers in the province, at around 1,000 officers.

In a letter to municipalities around B.C., two Surrey councillors who oppose the transition – Brenda Locke and Jack Singh Hundial – argue that the knock-on effects of such a transition are unknown, not only for the City of Surrey and it’s proposed all-new municipal police force, but for municipalities around the province that continue to use the RCMP for their policing needs.

“There has not been a proper feasibility study or a cost benefit analysis that would support and establish the impact that the transition will have on Surrey, the region, or the province as a whole. The question remains if, and how, the transition will destabilize public safety from a variety of areas including recruitment, cost, and the overall integrated network,” they wrote.

They argued that officer recruitment and retention would be a problem province-wide should 1,000 officers in Surrey transfer to a new municipal force. They also argued that given the administrative costs of the RCMP are shared among all municipalities that use an RCMP detachment, the withdrawal of Surrey would negatively impact those that remain.

“The financial impact of the Surrey Police Transition has yet to be determined, but regardless, it will be an additional cost burden for every municipality,” they wrote.

Mayor David Wilks – who is a retired RCMP officer himself – said that it was important to know what impact Surrey withdrawing from using the RCMP would have on smaller communities – if any.

“The potential cost of policing could go up because Surrey has eliminated itself,” he said.

Currently, as Sparwood is home to fewer than 5,000 residents the cost of policing is relatively low, but Wilks said that should Sparwood exceed 5,000 residents, the cost of policing would increase significantly.

“It could be a potential problem down the road. I don’t want to get caught with our pants down,” he said.

Councillors voted unanimously to write a letter of support requesting a provincial feasibility study into the impact of Surrey withdrawing from using the RCMP.

The City of Surrey voted in November 2018 to kick start a municipal police force, with a goal to have the new force operational within two years. It is not yet operational, with the RCMP continuing to operate within the municipality.

READ MORE: Crowsnest Pass RCMP confirm suspicious deaths as murder-suicide
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Municipal GovernmentRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

Staff and residents from RMV show their appreciation for the volunteers who enrich their lives. From left to right: Shelley Moulton, Darlene Hutchinson, Betty Schanni, Mark Hudock, Victor Myette, Elinor Siska, Melissa Roger, Anita Braconnier. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
‘We can’t wait for you to come back’: Rocky Mountain Village residents show appreciation for volunteers

Volunteers can’t make in-person visits, but that hasn’t stopped them staying in touch

Members of the community garden hosted their first seed swap and fundraiser at the Greenwood Mall in Sparwood on Monday. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Sparwood Community Garden hosts first seed swap

Work on the garden at Engelmann Spruce Drive will begin soon

Crews and volunteers responded to a four-hectare wildfire on the lower half of the Aqam community lands near Cranbrook on Friday afternoon. Trevor Crawley photo.
Wildfire season gets early start in the East Kootenay

Fire crews, volunteers respond to two local wildfires, while prescribed burns turn weekend skies smoky

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Most Read