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RCMP: Surrey mayor's comments could undermine confidence in police; McCallum spars with Premier

Last Updated Nov 9, 2018 at 8:02 pm PDT

Summary

RCMP's Deputy Commissioner responds to Surrey mayor's comments after a deadly shooting Friday

Doug McCallum spars with Premier John Horgan over creating a Surrey police force.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The RCMP and Premier John Horgan are sparring with Surrey’s new mayor Doug McCallum over plans for a new police force in Surrey and gun violence in the city.

Following another fatal shooting in his city Friday morning, McCallum’s issued a statement, saying he is ‘dismayed’ at the resistance he’s seeing to creating a new police force to replace the city’s contract with the RCMP. The body of the 22-year-old man was found outside a house in Newton.

“This morning’s tragic shooting outside of a home in Newton is yet another example of the ongoing trauma and fear that are being inflicted on the communities, residents and families of Surrey,” McCallum says in the statement. “This latest incident of deadly gun violence further emphasizes the need for the City of Surrey to have its own city police force.”

RELATED: Deadly shooting in Surrey

His comments didn’t sit well with the RCMP or Horgan.

RCMP Deputy Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr says she feels terrible for the family and people living in the Newton area, and says these kinds of statements risk undermining public trust in policing.

“I will not allow public confidence in policing to be undermined or eroded,” Butterworth-Carr says in a statement. “I wish to assure all those engaged in delivering police services to Surrey they have my utmost trust and confidence.”

With a homicide like what happened in Surrey today, she says people are already reluctant to come forward, and these kinds of statements can make it even more challenging to solve a complex case.

She goes on to say that “(u)ntil Surrey RCMP is no longer the contracted police service, our employees must be allowed to and will continue to police safely and effectively.”

RELATED: Surrey’s new council votes unanimously for police force, against LRT

Horgan also responded to the statement, saying both he and the Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth have spoken with the mayor about next steps.

“There were shootings the week before that, as well. We have a serious issue in the Lower Mainland, particularly in Surrey. All of us want to address that. I want to work with the mayor. Bring us the plan Mr. McCallum and we’ll work with you,” he says.

Horgan says the public safety minister is working with the mayor, and he’s confident Surrey’s safety concerns will be addressed. He says they need to have a plan.

RELATED: Incoming Surrey councillor unsure about replacing RCMP

“Surely to goodness, he understands that you can’t transition from one police force to another in over a weekend? This is a big deal. We’re absolutely prepared to sit down and work with him, but to suggest, somehow, that we’re dragging our feet, it’s November and he was elected in October,” he says.

“You don’t do it in a week. You don’t do it in a month.We need to have a plan. You can’t just get in front of a microphone and say, ‘Why haven’t you fixed this?’ It takes work and he knows that full well!”

Police have now confirmed Surrey’s latest killing is targeted and linked to an ongoing gang conflict, but no arrests have been made.