Police transition report may be on agenda of Surrey council closed-door meeting

At his "State of the City" address, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum got mixed reviews for unveiling a prototype for a Surrey city police vehicle. Grace Ke reports.

A special meeting of Surrey council has been scheduled for Wednesday morning, and councillors may get their first look at a long-awaited report on the creation of a civic police force to replace the RCMP which will head to the provincial government for approval.

READ MORE: Surrey police vehicle prototype unveiled for proposed municipal force

Ahead of the meeting, councillors were not told what would be discussed and they were not given an agenda.

When Global News asked the mayor’s office what would be discussed, the response was, “It’s confidential.”

However, Coun. Laurie Guerra says it’s a good bet the policing report will be discussed.

“I know that we are apparently in closed sessions this week and I’m assuming it’s for that report to come out.”

She says the report will not be released to the public, and that will be up to solicitor general Mike Farnworth, who must approve the change.

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READ MORE: Surrey plans to have new police force running by July 2020: internal memo

Coun. Stephen Pettigrew says he’s disappointed by a lack of public engagement so far.

“Far too much happening behind closed doors and it really, really bothers me, all this closed doors things — we’re not allowed to talk about it.”

The lone opposition member of council, Linda Annis, is critical of the process to this point.

“As a city councillor, I have not been privy to what this report is going to look like.”

Public consultation on the transition begins Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cloverdale Rec Centre.

The city says residents will be able to learn more about the transition process and offer input, even on things such as the “colours” of the new Surrey Police Department.

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