On August 1st, the 516,000+ residents of the City of Surrey, BC were once again dsheartenrd by news of our 51st shooting being recorded since January 1.
The number of personnel and budget for the Surrey RCMP continues to climb – yet so does the crime rate. Perhaps it’s time to seriously consider a municipal police force, if the RCMP cannot bring their bumper sticker nonsense about “Safe Homes and Safe Communities” to reality.
On the evening of July 31, my city of Surrey recorded its 51st SHOOTING, a homicide.
Our Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is now investigating after a man was shot to death on the 13900-block of Antrim Road in Surrey Sunday night. Neighbours say after the shots rang out they heard a car drive away – then police flooded yards in the area looking for a suspect.
@SurreyMayor Hepne and Surrey RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bill Fordy – I trust you actually understand how asinine this number is, when we’re not even 3/4 of the way through the year yet? That’s more than 3 Surrey shootings every 2 weeks since January 1st!
On July 12, a man was shot by TWO MEN ON BICYCLES at 108 Avenue and King George. For those of us who are residents, that’s ONE BLOCK from the Whalley RCMP station – and it was only 2 blocks from MY HOME.
Ms. Mayor, these crooks have no problem shooting each other a BLOCK from a police station. What does that tell you about the effectiveness of the RCMP here?
in the first 90 days of the year, had over 7,500 property crimes. Over 12,000 crimes total in just the first 3 months of the year. It seems almost laughable now that “Safe Homes and Safe Communities“ is one of the bumper-sticker platitudes adopted by the City and Surrey RCMP as a long-term goal.
Short term, the catchphrase is about as appropriate for Surrey as calling a 300-lb man “Tiny”. Sadly, the message has instead been controlled by folks who even sold T-shirts with slogans like “Better Safe Than Surrey“, which again enjoys a sales boom today thanks to this latest gunfight.
Surrey has the largest RCMP detachment in the ENTIRE COUNTRY. In fact we just hired 100 MORE police officers this year alone. The cost to police this city is becoming bloody OUTRAGEOUS – the police budget for our city of 468,000 is $146 MILLION a year – that’s $311 charged to each and every one of our residents – including the kids.
According to a 2015 Vancouver Sun, the nee additions brings the number of RCMP officers in Surrey to about 800, or an officer for every 500 residents.
We are NOT getting the results we should be.
Mayor Hepner and Superintendent Fordy, perhaps you could pull yourselves away from the Festivals and long weekend parties and dog days of Summer…. and bloody well GET TO WORK.
We either need to see results, or we need to push for a referendum on cancelling this RCMP contract for services and bring in the damn ARMY if necessary.
Mayor Hepner, I voted for you. I believe in you to fight for us and do the right thing for our city. I know you have publicly spoken of your horror and frustration as the next shooting, and then the next, and the next… have been playing out in 2016.
However, one of the biggest issues is the fact that this largest RCMP detachment in the country – has no police chief. Bill Fordy, mentioned above, is assuming that role, but he is also the Assistant Commissioner for the entire province of BC and the 8,000 officers of it. In fact, the distinction of levels between Surrey RCMP and provincial RCMP was made less clear when the “E” Detachment headquarters was moved from Vancouver to Surrey a few years ago.
Today, the 804 officers and 300 administrative staff of the Surrey RCMP are just one agenda item of many. That needs to change. Strong leadership is needed. Even after hiring a new person, that will take a while to manifest.
The Vancouver Sun reported today (August 4) that Mayor Hepner is expected to announce a new chief by September 15 – down to 3 possible candidates. In the context of this situation, that’s about 4 shootings away from now.
There are accountability measures that the City must start to insist on NOW. The RCMP’S feet must be put to the fire. There is an unspoken belief – though I have had one friend express it to me this week – that the RCMP in BC are outsiders. These individuals believe that the officers don’t actually consider this home, and are parachuted in to police us. The Vancouver Police Department, in contrast, sees its officers live and raise their families within the city.
In actuality, that’s nonsense. Yes, there are people that move here from other provinces to work for the RCMP, but the same certainly can be said of Vancouver Police and every other police departments across Canada. And Surrey RCMP just as certainly has a large group of officers that were born and raised here, and consider this home all their lives. Bottom line: officers are not the problem.
Here’s where we are weak – the leadership of the RCMP is in Ottawa, and they don’t necessarily give a rip about Surrey. They are also not here to stand accountable for decisions made here, budgetary, training, etc. The City’s crime rate is in fact one of the best means possible to visually see and quantify what their effectiveness is in the City. There should be ramifications for not seeing that rate lowered, especially violent crimes like this. It’s time the folks at the Green Timbers HQ building get the message – residents have had enough. I’m almost willing to see a temporary police state or even martial law.
Do what’s best for our families. The rest be damned.