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Surrey Police Approved By NDP Government With Wally Oppal To Oversee Transition

SURREY – Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth gave the green light Thursday to Surrey’s new city police force, granting Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and his supporters their wish to have Surrey’s own police force at an added expense and less safety, according to a growing number of critics of the police force.

In the press release sent to media, there was no timeline given as to when the force will be up and running but it said: “To ensure all key issues are addressed and all complex details are in place to facilitate an orderly transition, a joint project team has been struck.”

The joint transition committee will be chaired by the former Minister and celebrated Judge Wally Oppal. The committee under Oppal’s guidance will work expeditiously to provide advice to the Director of Police Services through to the Solicitor General relating to the establishment of Surrey’s municipal police department.

The City of Surrey has been pushing for its own police force, instead of being under RCMP jurisdiction, but required provincial government approval to move forward.

Talks of a police transition have been the centre of much debate in Surrey for months. Scrapping the RCMP for a municipal force was one of Mayor Doug McCallum’s campaign promises in last year’s civic election.

Councillor Linda Annis, who’s been vocal about her concerns, says she’s disappointed in the continued lack of public consultation.

“It has always been important to me that the residents of Surrey have an act and say in policing for Surrey, and whether it’s a transition or not,” she told NEWS 1130. “And I’m quite disappointed at this point in time that that has not occurred.”

However, despite her disappointment, Annis notes she’s hopeful Oppal and the new task force will “include a referendum as part of the overall transition process.”

 

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