The Surrey Police Board will have its inaugural meeting on Thursday, August 6, which will be open to the public.
“Public safety matters to business,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
“The Surrey Board of Trade’s position is to maintain RCMP services for Surrey’s public safety infrastructure, harness existing resources, create a holistic model for public safety that not only includes the RCMP but other supports for youth, mental health, and more. We are in a pandemic and facing an economic crisis with recession-level job losses and business closures. The use of public funds, including those taxes that businesses pay, needs to bolster economic growth.”
The Surrey Board of Trade hopes that the Surrey Police Board will seek public engagement and communicate key unanswered economic and governance questions.
“For Surrey to be an opportunity city, Surrey needs a considered and thoughtful process by the Surrey Police Board to evaluate Surrey’s policing plan.”
The Surrey Board of Trade has the following key questions that need to be considered and answered to by the new Surrey Police Board:
1. How will public safety be maintained with a new police force to ensure that businesses and residents feel safe and are safe, and further, that businesses will stay in Surrey.
2. What is the real cost of the transition plan, including capital and operating needs like infrastructure, recruitment, IT requirements and pensions?
3. What important public services or infrastructure are being eliminated or postponed by the City of Surrey to pay for the police transition?
4. What is the Board’s real timeline for this transition, given that the Premier recently commented that the transition has a ‘long way to go’ and Minister Farnworth said there is no definitive deadline and the transition must be done to the Ministry’s satisfaction?
5. The Surrey Policing Transition Plan of May 2019 was intended to form the basis for a feasibility assessment by Surrey City Council. Will the Board require City Council to conduct a feasibility study as set out in the Transition Plan?
6. What is the role of Surrey Police Board members, who were appointed to act in the public interest, to be accountable and communicate with the business community and residents?
7. How will the Board maintain its independence from politics and ensure Surrey’s livability isn’t compromised?
8. Will Surrey Police Board members engage with the Surrey RCMP, who currently police Surrey?
9. How will the Police Board recruit the officers they need for the Surrey Police Department? How will this impact other municipal police forces like Vancouver who are already struggling to address retention issues?
10. How would a new Surrey police force impact the new officer training services that are already stretched at the Justice Institute of BC?
11. How will the recently announced provincial policing review consider a transition of policing in BC’s second largest force?
Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342, firstname.lastname@example.org