Since the initial deployment of Surrey Police Service (SPS) officers on November 29, 2021, SPS has responded to over 1,000 calls for police service in the City of Surrey.
Twenty-nine SPS officers in the first deployment cohort were provided with an orientation and a few shifts with an RCMP officer to familiarize them with detachment procedures and policing in Surrey. Once this training was complete, these officers began to take calls for service on their own, working in an integrated fashion, alongside the Surrey RCMP.
Calls for service attended by SPS officers have been typical of the wide range of files that police respond to in Surrey on the Frontline and the General Investigation Unit, where our officers were assigned. Calls ranged from property crime files, to calls to check on the well-being of vulnerable persons, to disturbance and assault files.
There have also been many opportunities for officers to make positive connections with citizens and community groups over the past month. These have included foot patrols at the Newton transit exchange, a carolling event with Phoenix Society, visits to the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, and participation in a female empowerment event hosted by Pacific Community Resources Society. SPS is committed to ensuring a continued focus on community throughout the policing transition and beyond.
Overall, this first integration of experienced SPS officers into the RCMP, which is phase one of Surrey’s policing transition, has been going very well. SPS officers are reporting a growing sense of comradery amongst RCMP and SPS officers working on the same Watch.
“We appreciate all the support we have received from our Surrey RCMP partners and the extremely positive response the citizens of Surrey have given us so far,” says SPS Chief Constable Norm Lipinski. “Our officers have already made a substantial public safety contribution while building relationships with the community and their RCMP colleagues, with every call they attend.”
The remaining twenty-one SPS officers in the first deployment cohort will be deployed into police operations once they receive RCMP security clearance. At this point, it is anticipated that twelve will be cleared this month, and the remaining nine in March. All 50 SPS police officers in the first cohort have been trained and security cleared to provincial policing standards. However, as they will be temporarily working alongside the Surrey RCMP, they are also required to undergo an RCMP security clearance process.
During the initial stages of the policing transition, Surrey RCMP remain the police of jurisdiction and their detachment, community offices, and phone numbers remain the primary points of contact for non-emergencies. As always, 911 should be utilized in emergency situations.