Surrey council votes to maintain RCMP as city’s police department

Surrey City Council held a historic vote on Monday night (November 14) on the next steps in Surrey’s beleaguered policing transition.

In a 5-4 vote, the city council decided to maintain the Surrey RCMP as the city’s police force, rather than partnering with the Surrey Police Department.

Council staff will now prepare a plan for this, for Public Safety Minister and Deputy Attorney-General Mike Farnworth, and send a letter to Surrey Police on behalf of council to “suspend all new recruitment” and spending, pending further direction from Parliament.”

Mayor Brenda Locke and her Surrey Connect five-member majority campaigned to keep the RCMP.

She and MPs Harry Bains, Rob Stutt, Pardeep Kooner and Gordon Hepner voted in favor, while Safe Surrey Coalition MPs Doug Elford and Mandeep Nagra and Surrey First MPs Mike Bose and Linda Annis voted against keeping the RCMP.

Surrey First issued a press release on Monday calling for a referendum on the issue, in which Annis said: “The nine of us elected on October 15 should not have made this final decision.”

Annis wrote a letter to Farnworth urging him to call for a Surrey referendum on policing, saying “unless Surrey voters are finally allowed to decide, this costly back-and-forth will remain a political football. The issue .” She tried to amend the motion to call for a referendum, but it was defeated.

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