New Surrey Police Service begins training its first class of recruits

Click to play video: 'First Surrey municipal police officers on the job' First Surrey municipal police officers on the job
The first officers from the new Surrey Police Service are on the job, working side-by-side with the RCMP officers they'll be replacing. Grace Ke reports. – Nov 30, 2021

The Surrey Police Service’s first class of recruits have begun training to become constables, the new force confirmed Monday.

The class contains 14 officers, 11 men and three women selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants. Nine identify as being from “diverse communities” and six speak a second language, according to a news release.

“Each of these outstanding individuals displays the integrity, compassion and care for the community that SPS stands for,” said Chief Const. Norm Lipinski in the statement.

“I wish them much success in their training and look forward to their future contributions to SPS and the citizens of Surrey.”

Read more: Surrey Police Service inks 1st contract, making officers among the highest paid in Canada

The Surrey Police Service (SPS) said the new recruits have extensive volunteer and work experience. Among the group, are a former Canadian Navy intelligence officer, several police victim service workers, a national wrestling medalist, and a shelter co-ordinator in the Whalley neighbourhood.

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The May 2022 class began a two-week onboarding course with the SPS this week, and will complete 23 weeks of training at the Justice Institute of B.C. Police Academy afterward. The program concludes with 21 weeks of SPS field training.

The new recruits will graduate in March 2023 as Certified Municipal Constables.

Click to play video: 'Surrey Police Service reaches first contract with officers making them among the highest paid in country' Surrey Police Service reaches first contract with officers making them among the highest paid in country
Surrey Police Service reaches first contract with officers making them among the highest paid in country – Mar 4, 2022

Surrey’s municipal police force inked its first collective agreement last month, making its officers of the among the highest paid in the country.

The recruits will begin with a starting salary of $70,000, climbing to $89,000 after the first year. At three years, SPS constables will be eligible for a salary of nearly $122,000.

The contract will be in force until 2024.

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READ MORE: First Surrey, B.C. police officers begin active duty, starting phased transition from RCMP

Members of the SPS began active duty in November last year, alongside the Surrey RCMP, as the municipality’s police force transition continues.

The launch of the SPS has been in the works for the last three years but has been hotly contested by some residents who are concerned about its cost for taxpayers. The latest budget estimate for the force is $18.5 million above the initial projection of $45 million.

Its creation has also put a staffing squeeze on the neighbouring Vancouver Police Department, which has already lost 21 officers to the new SPS.

The SPS aims to train another 13 recruits in its September class. Applications will be accepted from May 2 to 23.

— With files from Catherine Urquhart and Simon Little


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