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‘I am going to snap’: Surrey’s top cop lashes out at RCMP critics in awards speech

Click to play video 'Surrey RCMP top cop blasts critics' Surrey RCMP top cop blasts critics
A rare show of emotion from the man in charge of the Surrey RCMP, who is blasting critics of his detachment as it transitions to a municipal police force. John Hua reports. – Oct 11, 2019

Surrey’s top cop had some sharp words for critics of the city’s RCMP detachment, as the process of replacing it with a new civic police force grinds on.

Speaking at the 23rd Annual Surrey RCMP awards, Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP Asst. Comm. Dwayne McDonald lashed out at those he said were unfairly impugning the work officers are doing in the city.

READ MORE: War of words breaks out as Surrey mayor claims ‘red tape’ holding up new police force

“We can’t police a large city? We’ve been doing it since 1951. I would challenge any other large city in this country to police with the resources we do and do a better job,” said McDonald.

“I’m just saying, if you want more boots on the ground, give me more boots.”

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Province takes control of Surrey police transition – Aug 23, 2019

McDonald didn’t name names in his speech.

But his most focused broadside came in the wake of public criticism of the detachment, including from former West Vancouver police chief and solicitor general Kash Heed and ex-Mountie Chris Backus, who organized a rally last year. Backus said he believes many officers would leave the RCMP for a new municipal force.

READ MORE: Province takes control of Surrey police transition while giving green light

“If I have to listen to one more ex-chief of police on life support or some fallen-from-grace former public official with an axe to grind or an uninformed academic call into question the integrity and professionalism and dedication of the men and women of the Surrey RCMP, I am going to snap,” said McDonald to loud applause.

“I’m just saying that some of these people have been put out to pasture for a reason, so let’s not forget it.”

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Dwayne McDonald announced as new officer in charge of Surrey RCMP – Oct 4, 2016

It’s not the first time McDonald has gone public to defend the detachment.

In June 2018, he wrote an open letter to the city after a trio of innocent civilians were killed in apparently gang-related incidents.

READ MORE: ‘This is not who we are’: Surrey’s top cop pens open letter on deadly gang violence

In that letter, McDonald acknowledged the work of the Surrey RCMP was under the microscope amid escalating gang violence, but defended the detachment’s policing model.

He went on to urge residents to understand that many Surrey RCMP officers are themselves neighbours and members of the community, and personally committed to public safety.

McDonald has served as Officer in Charge of the Surrey RCMP since 2016.

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