Brenda Locke, who was sworn in Monday, has previously said SPS officers and civilian staff could sign on with the Mounties.
In response, 275 Surrey Police Union‘s (SPU) members signed a pledge declaring that “if the Surrey Police Service ceases to exist, I have no intention to apply to nor join any RCMP detachment as my next career move.”
“The Mayor’s comments demonstrate the disconnect that continues to exist between City Hall politics and those who joined the Surrey Police Service to serve all Surrey residents,” SPU president Rick Stewart said.
“Our officers have voluntarily signed this declaration because of a number of specific reasons related to the RCMP, and as such, Mayor Locke’s hiring plan shows no regard for the will of our members.”
Many officers joined the SPU to serve in a Surrey-based municipal force, he explained, and take exception to suggestions they serve elsewhere.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Locke said she was “disappointed” with the SPS union’s tactics and “the public has spoken” on keeping the RCMP in the city.
“We’re not going to be dictated to by a startup police union on how we’re going to move forward … We are going to reestablish the RCMP as the police of jurisdiction in this city and that’s what we’re doing moving forward.”
Locke, who campaigned on reversing former mayor Doug McCallum’s controversial police transition, said the public will see “first phase” plans next week.
The Mounties have a plan to hire SPS officers, she added, and she’s “hopeful” some SPU members will transition to the RCMP.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim has said the city could achieve his goal of hiring 100 new police officers by taking on any members left jobless if Surrey axes the SPS.
Speaking on Global News Morning BC, however, Sim said he wouldn’t try to proactively poach them.
“It’s not as if we’re going after these individuals, but there’s an opportunity where there may be a lot of police officers available,” he said.
“That wasn’t actually factored into our original plan, so we’re actually feeling even more optimistic today than we did on Friday,” he said
Locke added that she is “absolutely confident” in the direction Surrey is heading in.