Statement from Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards - effective policing in Surrey


2022-12-23 16:53 PST

The Surrey Police Service (SPS) recently issued a public report they submitted to the province regarding their readiness to become the Police of Jurisdiction. Their report makes sweeping and broad generalizations about the RCMP, dedicating a significant portion of their narrative seeking to discredit the RCMP, and questioning the RCMP’s ability to deliver effective policing in Surrey.

It is truly unfortunate the transition has gotten to a point where SPS continually resorts to fear mongering and I need to respond. However, it is my obligation to ensure residents of Surrey know that Surrey RCMP has and will continue to provide effective policing in this city.

It is equally integral that all the officers and staff under my command, including deployed SPS officers, know that they have my support in the outstanding work they do each and every day. It’s through their efforts we’ve continued to drive down crime, while providing numerous programs and initiatives specifically to meet the needs of Surrey.

SPS is a start-up police agency that is utterly dependent upon the RCMP, and is, at the same time, seeking to advance a narrative that questions whether the RCMP can effectively police Surrey. It is astoundingly arrogant and is a disservice to the policing community.

As for their comments on RCMP recruiting – they handpicked recruiting statistics from 2020 and 2021. This was, of course, during a worldwide pandemic. What wasn’t mentioned is that prior to the pandemic, in 2019 RCMP Depot graduated 1,059 Cadets – a record amount. With our pre-posting cadets to their home provinces and new Collective Agreement – we’ll get right back there. Just watch.

I can also say that multiple SPS Officers have confidentially approached the RCMP indicating their desire to come over if the RCMP remains in Surrey. To now, I’ve held back on this but again, the continued narrative that 94% will not patch over or will seek to end their policing careers is utterly divisive and zero sum. To what end I ask?

The people of Surrey don’t need this - they should have confidence in whichever policing model is utilized in Surrey. SPS’s continued focus on discrediting the RCMP is unprofessional and unbecoming of a police service aiming to serve the second largest city in BC.

What I’d like to see, and what we should all expect to see, is an approach to managing the transition that puts public and police officer safety at the forefront. I’m yet to be convinced SPS understands their role in this.

Operating this detachment is my responsibility. I remain privileged to do so. I am committed to continuing my operations - with SPS Officers as valued partner - as we’ve progressed to date, with public and police officer safety as the priority in all we do. We’ve consistently delivered on this, and intend to continue doing so as long as the RCMP remains in Surrey.

Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards, Officer in Charge, Surrey RCMP

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