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If Surrey gets its own police force, other departments could lose officers to that city

(Photo courtesy Surrey RCMP)

New Westminster's police chief expects departments across the region will lose members to Surrey

Commute time, housing costs could be factors in officer's decisions on whether to work in Surrey

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – It could be the water cooler talk for cops across the Lower Mainland: Would you consider working in Surrey if the city gets its own police department?

We’re hearing many officers may be considering a change in scenery, as that city transitions away from the RCMP. New Westminster Police Chief Dave Jones expects departments across the Lower Mainland will lose members to Surrey.

“With Surrey being new and some potential opportunities or living closer to home — or working closer to home — we could see a shift of resources.”

He thinks the new generation of police officers value their time off. “They’ll look at things such as commute, housing costs and value.”


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Jones notes money likely won’t be the deciding factor as to whether officers stay or go.

“Salary-wise, we’ve been on parity with each other for numerous years. There’s been some slight deviations in that, but usually it’s not too far off.”

But he isn’t too worried about losing members, for now — considering the City of Surrey still has work to do in the new council’s bid to move towards its own force. “I think they’re still a little way’s off from getting to where they would like to be.”

If Surrey gets its own force, it would also need a police chief. Vancouver is the only city in B.C. of a similar size. So, could VPD Chief Adam Palmer be recruited?

“Obviously, a person of Adam’s abilities and capabilities … from what I know, he’s doing quite exceptionally well where he’s at,” Jones said.

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He adds the recruitment of a chief for a large jurisdiction such as Surrey would normally take place on a national level.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum believes the city could get its own municipal police force within the next two years.