June 18, 2019 2:58 pm
Updated: June 19, 2019 7:10 am

Abused children may be shortchanged in Surrey’s cop swap: Coun. Brenda Locke

Brenda Locke left Mayor Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition in June,

Courtesy of the City of Surrey

A city councillor says the Surrey policing transition plan lacks the necessary support for abused children.

Sophie’s Place at the Centre for Child Development works with youngsters, police, families and social services to investigate cases of child abuse.

READ MORE: Widow of Surrey murder victim doesn’t think new police force will make city safer

Coun. Brenda Locke says that right now, the centre supports children from newborns to kids aged 15 and under.

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Under the proposed civic policing model, the maximum age of children supported by the centre would be increased to 18.

However, Locke says the number of police officers proposed is seven, which is the same number working at the facility right now.

She says that’s not enough.

“It’s going to be untenable for anyone of those six or seven officers to deal with their caseload,” she said. “It will be extraordinary.”

Right now, roughly 183 children benefit from the services at Sophie’s Place, but that number is expected to increase to 360, with the same number of police officers investigating.

READ MORE: Surrey is getting ready to ditch the RCMP. Will there be a domino effect?

In a statement issued Tuesday morning, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says staffing levels will be up to the new Chief of Police in Surrey, and the proposed staffing model in the Transition Report is a starting point.

He says officers can be moved and added, as deemed appropriate by the SPD Chief.

Because she ran under his Safe Surrey Coalition that promised a civic police department to replace the RCMP, McCallum says Locke has broken her word to Surrey residents, and he says to now drag Sophie’s Place into this for political purposes is unconscionable and irresponsible.

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