SURREY (NEWS 1130) — The first community members of Surrey’s new police board have been appointed by the province.
Surrey council voted in 2018 to terminate the city’s agreement with the RCMP and transition to a municipal police department, under the Police Act.
The lieutenant governor in council appointed seven community members to the police board on Monday, joining the mayor of Surrey, as chair, and a municipal council appointee, Bob Rolls.
“Today’s milestone is an important one. With the Surrey Police Board now in place, we can start in earnest the critical work ahead that will set the foundation for a new, innovative, modern and proactive police service that is tailor-made for Surrey,” Mayor Doug McCallum says.
“It goes without saying that I have been raring to get to work and that has been ramped up a notch knowing now that I will be working with such a distinguished, talented and diverse group. In the coming weeks, the city will provide support to prepare the board for the crucial work to come. Together, we will work to ensure that Surrey Police is accountable, transparent and serves the diverse needs of our citizens, our neighbourhoods, and our city.”
Appointments will range from 12- to 18-month terms.
“The province’s overall goal is to have police boards that reflect the diversity of B.C., for strong and effective citizen-centred governance and police oversight,” says a release.
The community members:
- Chief Harley Chappell, elected Chief of the Semiahmoo First Nation;
- Cheney Cloke, director, Fraser Health Authority;
- Elizabeth Model, CEO, Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association;
- James Carwana, mediator and arbitrator;
- Jaspreet Sunner, lawyer and labour relations representative, Hospital Employees’ Union;
- Manav Gill, manager, clinical operations, Fraser Health Authority;
- Meena Brisard, regional director, Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Under the Police Act, the board is required to establish and oversee the Surrey Police Department.
#BCGov has appointed @CityofSurrey‘s 1st police board members as part of the transition from #RCMP to a municipal force. The next step will be to hire a chief constable. #SurreyBC pic.twitter.com/35euvFJaTL
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) June 29, 2020
“Those of us in leadership positions need to ensure we build policing models and systems that respect the diversity and experiences of our residents,” McCallum said. “In Surrey, we take that very seriously and we are fortunate that we are in a position to build an innovative, community-responsive policing model for our city.”
The board has four main governance functions:
- employing the police and civilian employees;
- providing financial oversight for the police department;
- establishing policies and directions for the department;
- managing service and policy complaints against the department.
The next step in the City of Surrey’s transition plan will be for the new board to hire a chief constable.
Ministry staff will work with the board to assist in the transition process, including providing an orientation and training session in the coming weeks.
Under the Police Act, municipalities over 5,000 people are responsible for police services in their communities and have the right to determine how those services are delivered.
With the addition of Surrey, there will be 12 municipal police departments in B.C. serving 13 communities, including Vancouver, West Vancouver, Abbotsford, Delta, New Westminster, and Port Moody.
The RCMP is a contract service provider in Surrey and, as such, does not have a role in the decision-making process for the transition, says a statement from RCMP Asst. Commissioner Brian Edwards.
“However, we do have a role in this community. We police Surrey with passion, skill, and experience, and we have many strong partnerships here that have been developed over many decades. We will continue to police Surrey with pride for as long as we are contracted to do so,” he said.