Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge Dwayne McDonald says he is disappointed a draft budget for the city puts a hold on the previous council’s plan to add 12 additional officers in 2019.
“Needless to say, I am very disappointed by this news,” McDonald writes in a memo to staff obtained by Global News.
McDonald writes the new mayor and council are now proposing that no additional members be added next year, given their intention to transition to a municipal police force.
“I have publicly stated my position on several occasions that Surrey detachment requires an increase in RCMP and municipal resources to enhance our public safety strategies and meet legitimate public expectations,” McDonald writes.
WATCH: Surrey mayor criticized for cancelling projects
In early October, mayoral candidate Bruce Hayne said McDonald had told him Surrey needed an additional 150 to 200 more officers over the next four years.
Calls for more cops on Surrey streets have grown in recent months, as gang and gun violence continues.
On Tuesday, Mayor Doug McCallum said the plan to transition from the RCMP to a municipal police force within two years was “coming along fairly well.”
“It’s probably going a little quicker than I even expected. People are working together towards getting our own police force. We are working exceptionally hard,” he said.
Here is the memo from Dwayne McDonald to staff at the Surrey RCMP Detachment:
Yesterday afternoon, the City of Surrey released their draft 2019 Operating budget, which will be reviewed by the City’s Finance Committee next week, prior to a vote by Council. Although the City’s plan under the previous Mayor and Council was to add 12 additional RCMP members in 2019, the new Mayor and Council are now proposing that no additional members be added next year, given their intention to transition to a municipal police force. The draft budget also does not provide for any additional Support Services positions. The City’s draft Capital budget recommends that Council postpone the relocation of the District 3 & 4 offices and expansion of our Cell Block and Exhibits area.
Needless to say, I am very disappointed by this news. I have publically stated my position on several occasions that Surrey Detachment requires an increase in RCMP and Municipal resources in order to enhance our public safety strategies and meet legitimate public expectations. I am also very mindful of how much each of you are asked to do on a daily basis and how time and again you excel in the performance of your duties and keep this city safe. I will continue to advocate for additional resources with Mayor and Council and in the coming weeks your Senior Leadership Team and I will analyse the potential impact of the City’s decision on our service delivery model.
I will continue to update you as information becomes available. Thank you for your commitment to public safety and the excellent work you are doing.
Stay safe, and stay healthy,
A/Commr. Dwayne McDonald,
Officer in Charge
Surrey RCMP/Government of Canada