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Justice Institute of BC could need expansion due to Surrey PD

Last Updated Sep 17, 2019 at 7:01 am PDT

FILE - A Surrey Police cruiser sits outside the Cloverdale Recreation Centre during the first open house about creating an independent police force in Surrey. (Marcella Bernardo, NEWS 1130 Photo)

The Justice Institute could see an influx of recruits as the Surrey PD gets off the ground

The new force is expected to be the second largest in the province

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If the Lower Mainland welcomes a new police department, it could impact the Justice Institute of BC

The facility trains recruits from municipal forces such as Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Nelson, and Surrey would have the second largest police department in the province, if it opens as planned by April 2021.

The City of Surrey’s report on the transition suggests it would have funding for 805 officers. Many of those officers could come from the Surrey RCMP, but it’s unclear just how many. Currently, the Surrey RCMP’s recruits are trained in Regina.

This week on Ask The Chief, Chief Officer of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police Dave Jones speaks to Tim James about the potential changes ahead with the introduction of the Surrey Police Department.

TJ: Will the Justice Institute of BC need to expand due to the Surrey Police Department?

Jones: “Expansion, in areas such as ensuring you have the right facilities and the right number of staff, would be important. But, there are other options, such as looking at the timing of your training and going longer in the day. It is something that will need to be looked at, though.”

Have discussions already started?

“People have been aware of this. The idea of training and the impact of what happens in Surrey has been of discussion in many areas. You go beyond even what the Justice Institute and training is; we have other things that could be impacted, such as the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, which deals with municipal departments and alleged misconduct. That office doesn’t handle RCMP complaints, so there are other institutions that everybody is looking at.”

What is the capacity of the Justice Institute?

“Generally the J.I. has some flexibility. They run anywhere from about 108 to 140-something recruits, it just depends on class size. They have a set schedule where there’s about three intakes a year, right now. There’s some flexibility in the size of those classes. Minimally, there would be approximately just over 100 that would go through in three sessions, and then maximum-wise, you’re probably have up to 140 of them.”

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum believes about 60 per cent of Surrey RCMP members will transfer to the new department due to pension portability. Do you think this will be accurate?

“It’s really tough to say. That portability of pension applies to every other police agency, as well. While RCMP members could look at the new force, they are also eligible to get that pension transferred to the Transit Police, to the Vancouver Police, to the Nelson Police department, as well. It is not a unique portability just for the city of Surrey.”

LISTEN: Tim James speaks with Chief Officer of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police Dave Jones about the capacity of the JIBC