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Morale strong within Surrey RCMP despite transition talk: city's top Mountie

Last Updated May 15, 2019 at 4:50 pm PDT

FILE - A "Surrey Police" cruiser is unveiled at the state of the city address on May 7, 2019. (Screenshot: Twitter/@GSHarper)

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – As Surrey pushes ahead with plans to transition away from the RCMP and to a municipal police force, the city’s top Mountie says his officers are not distracted.

Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald admits talk about the Surrey Police Department impacted morale at first, but not anymore.

“You know, it was a little unsettling for some of our members and I think they took exception to some comments that were made by some in public forum, questioning their commitment to the community or how they’re policing the city,” he tells NEWS 1130.

“Since that time, we have received incredible support from several members of the community, some of our business improvement associations, our partner agencies and the like, and I think now that things have settled, morale is quite strong.”

WATCH:¬†Surrey’s Municipal Police Force appears closer to reality

He says transition to a municipal police force continues to be a hot topic for his members, but he believes it’s not at all a distraction for the Mounties when they’re on duty.

McDonald adds he has his doubts about the Surrey Police Department starting to operate by the summer of next year, calling Mayor Doug McCallum’s timeline “ambitious.”