Surrey Police Service deploys more officers as fate of department hangs in limbo

Click to play video: 'Debate over Surrey policing heads to Victoria'
Debate over Surrey policing heads to Victoria
WATCH: Surrey city council has approved a draft plan to stop the transition from RCMP to the Surrey Police Service. It now heads to Victoria for provincial approval. Global News Morning speaks with Surrey City Councillor Linda Annis, one of three councillors who voted against the motion. – Dec 13, 2022

The future of Surrey, B.C.’s fledgling municipal police force remains in limbo, but that hasn’t stopped it from deploying more officers.

The Surrey Police Service said Monday that it had deployed another 18 constables to work alongside front-line and investigative RCMP officers.

Read more: Plan to scrap Surrey police transition heading to Victoria after council green light

The deployment was approved by both police agencies along with the Surrey Policing Transition Trilateral Committee to ensure sufficient policing resource levels, the SPS said in a media release.

“As with previous deployment cohorts, these officers come from various police agencies and add valuable experience to frontline call response,” the SPS said.

“Every deployed SPS officer completes a six-week training course to ensure all provincial policing standards are met and to familiarize them with SPS policies and practices.”

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Click to play video: 'Surrey property owners could face 55% property tax hike if police transition continues'
Surrey property owners could face 55% property tax hike if police transition continues

The deployment leaves the SPS with 333 police officers, 205 of whom are involved in policing operations and 39 of whom are in training. The service has now onboarded 394 employees in total.

Read more: Surrey Police Service makes its case to province as decision on policing transition looms

Surrey city council voted last year to disband the SPS, following through on a campaign promise by Mayor Brenda Locke.

However the final decision lies in the hands of Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

The city sent a report laying out a framework to wind the police service down to Farnworth in mid-December. The SPS and Surrey RCMP have also submitted their own reports weighing in on the possibility to the ministry.

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Farnworth is expected to make a decision “early” in 2023.

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