The union representing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the National Police Federation (NPF), is reportedly fighting communities that are considering or in the process of transitioning away from the RCMP to a more local police service.
The NPF even publicly criticized an opinion piece recently published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper on March 27th.
Columnist Ian Mulgrew's story calls attention to what he describes as BC's "patchwork" of 13 municipal police departments, 65 RCMP municipal detachments, First Nations police, 135 RCMP (appox) detachments, and 20 community safety offices under federal jurisdiction.
Also mentioned by Mulgrew, the numerous unanswered calls for a more efficient and accountable regional policing strategy.
The former front line RCMP officer took issue with the critical tone of the opinion piece stating in part:
"76% of Canadians and 75% of British Columbians in RCMP-served communities are satisfied with policing in their community. In fact, support in B.C. actually increased from 71% in December 2020."
The NPF has been active in defending RCMP turf in western Canada.
In Alberta, the National Police Federation (NPF) has organized town halls promoting the RCMP and telling Albertans they will have to pay more for a provincial police force if they should decide to move in that direction.
In BC, the NPF is reportedly funding a campaign to overturn Surrey's transition to a municipal police force, a process that is well underway.
In Surrey, Mayoral hopeful Brenda Locke is making the transition a key part of her platform, promising to keep the Mounties.
The move away from the RCMP to a Surrey police service was a key issue last election for current Mayor Doug McCullum's campaign, a campaign that focused in part on a lengthy wave of gang violence in the community.
Surrey's next municipal election is on October 15th, 2022
Is it even possible to stop the creation and deployment of the Surrey Police Service at this point?
Depends who you ask.
That question was the focus of a two-part spread in Surreys Peace Arch News.
As the back and forth continues, the fledgling Surrey Police Service (SPS) continues to grow, hiring 20 more officers last week, and deploying another 25 to work Surrey streets.
As of March 28th, a total of 66 SPS members have been deployed into the RCMP for a few days of orientation before they begin responding to service calls.
“With every additional SPS officer deployed, the transition to Surrey’s own police service advances,” says Chief Constable Norm Lipinski.
The total number of Surrey Police Service officers hired to date is 196. As members complete their training they will be deployed.
Learn more about the transition from Surrey RCMP to the Surrey Police Service HERE
By late 2022 the SPS will be the second-largest municipal police force in British Columbia.
The Vancouver Police force is the largest.
Learn more about the Surrey Police Service HERE