Vancouver offers technical assistance to help Surrey mayor Doug McCallum begin process of creating local police force

Mayor Kennedy Stewart says public safety will remain the VPD's top priority

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      It looks like the Vancouver Police Department is going to help Surrey try to establish its own municipal police force.

      The mayors of both cities issued a joint statement this evening confirming that an agreement has been reached.

      “At the request of the City of Surrey, the City of Vancouver has agreed to provide technical assistance for the development of a transition plan designed to help Surrey establish a local police department,” Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart said. “While we assist in this transition with Surrey, I can assure that public safety in Vancouver will continue to be the Vancouver Police Department’s top priority.”

      As the mayor, Stewart chairs the Vancouver police board. It's the employer and governing body of the Vancouver Police Department. 

      In the 2018 Surrey election campaign, Doug McCallum promised that if his party formed a majority on council, it would replace the RCMP with a local force.

      McCallum's party ended up winning all but one of the seats on council. At the first meeting after the election, it passed a motion to direct staff "to take all appropriate steps immediately to create a Surrey Police Department in accordance with the BC Police Act".

      The City of Surrey must give the RCMP two years' notice before ending its municipal policing contract.

      If Mayor Doug McCallum has his way, Surrey police cars will eventually no longer bear the letters "RCMP".
      Surrey RCMP

      Surrey spent about $147 million on policing in 2016, according to provincial figures, and its $272 per capita cost for officers was far lower than the $422 per capita cost in Vancouver, which has its own city police force.

      “The City of Vancouver’s Police Department is internationally recognized for its evidence-based approach and commitment to excellence,” Mayor McCallum said in the joint statement. “With this agreement, the City of Surrey will be able to leverage the City of Vancouver’s Police Department’s best practices and implement them to our municipal agency to ensure our entire region continues to fight crime and promote public safety.”