September 14, 2018 7:33 am
Updated: September 14, 2018 9:17 am

What happened to the hiring of more Surrey RCMP officers?

It looks like Surrey RCMP won't be adding any new members before the upcoming election.

File / Global News
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A candidate running for mayor of Surrey in the upcoming municipal election says he wants to know what happened to outgoing mayor Linda Hepner’s promise to look at hiring more police officers.

Back in June, Linda Hepner pledged to “very seriously” consider adding more RCMP officers to the force.

Those comments came in the wake of Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge (OIC) Dwayne McDonald saying he needed a “significant” number of additional officers.

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However, since then both the July and September meetings of Surrey’s Public Safety Committee have been cancelled.

Hepner chairs those meetings and, according to her office, she cancelled the meetings so as not to “tie the hands” of the soon-to-be elected new council with any decisions.

But it’s at those meetings that McDonald was to make his pitch for more officers.

Surrey councillor and mayoral candidate Bruce Hayne said he feels like it was a stalling tactic.

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“Honestly, I think it’s political that he not be asked for those specific numbers in public before an election, quite frankly,” Hayne said.

“That’s when our OIC was to present us with his request for more officers. We haven’t got that yet.”

As of June, Surrey had 835 RCMP officers.

With secondments to integrated teams, its total strength was 777.

By comparison the Vancouver Police Department has over 1,400 members who cover a landbase of a quarter of the size of Surrey.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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