August 8, 2014 1:59 pm

Surrey mayoral candidate says only 36 RCMP officers available for shifts

RCMP officers talk outside the Newton Arena in Surrey, B.C., on Monday December 30, 2013, where a 53-year old woman was killed.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Former Surrey mayor and now 2014 mayoral candidate Doug McCallum says RCMP staffing numbers in the city are “shocking.”

McCallum issued a news release Friday, saying that out of 673 officers in the Surrey detachment, only 36 are available for shift on any given weekday.

He says the numbers are shockingly low for a city with an estimated population of 509,610.

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“Fielding 36 officers for patrol amidst a force of 673 is absolutely shocking for a city with the geographic and population size of Surrey,” says McCallum. “The citizens of Surrey are paying over $90 million a year under the contract that was signed by the city in 2012, and these numbers demonstrate the insufficient service levels that are being provided by Surrey RCMP.”

Surrey RCMP say they did not release the numbers, and that McCallum’s claims understate the number of policing resources in Surrey.

“It is important for people to realize that policing a city goes far beyond General Duty. We have numerous specialized units who are also actively on duty, providing police service to the City of Surrey,” says Trent Rolfe, Acting Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP.

Rolfe says officers are assigned to various units, including investigative, traffic, bike unit, drug section, gang enforcement, among others. He says officers in these units are actively patrolling the streets as well as supporting patrol officers in specific investigations.

“We deploy our officers strategically in order to effectively respond to calls for services and ensure the safety of our officers, including strategic placement in our five District Offices,” says Rolfe. “The total establishment for the Surrey RCMP is 619 plus 54 integrated members, for a total of 673 police officers serving Surrey.”

Rolfe says 30 more officers will join the force in fiscal 2014/2015.

McCallum says the city’s contract with the RCMP is $90 million per year. A new 20 year contract was signed in 2012, under Mayor Dianne Watts. Watts has handpicked Linda Hepner as her successor. She will face off against Barinder Rasode and McCallum in November’s civic election.

 

 

 

 

© Shaw Media, 2014

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