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Surrey Police Board names Norm Lipinski as chief of new municipal force

Last Updated Nov 20, 2020 at 6:59 pm PDT

Summary

The Surrey Police Service has named Norm Lipinski as its chief constable

The Surrey Police Board officially announce its choice of chief on Friday

Surrey's police transition is set to take place in the spring of 2021

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – The search for the chief constable of the coming Surrey Police Service is over.

Mayor Doug McCallum and the rest of the new Surrey Police Board have officially introduced Norm Lipinski as the head of the force Friday.

Lipinski — a former assistant commissioner for the RCMP’s E-Division in B.C. — is currently deputy chief of the Delta Police Department.

Lipinski eager to get to work

Describing the role as the best policing job in the country, the man who will be the first to head the department says he is looking forward to starting with a clean canvas.

“I have a certain vision, a certain model in mind, but before I do anything, it will be consultation with the police board and with the community,” Lipinski says.

He adds he is eager to start consulting with the community on what the police department should look like.

But Lipinski is promising it will be an inclusive, modern, and accountable force.

“One of the advantages of a municipal department is the ability to move quickly, whether it’s the finances, whether it’s the training, whether it’s the equipment,” he says.

Transition presses on despite criticism 

This brings the Surrey Police Service one step closer to replacing the RCMP in the city.

The switch to a municipal force had previously been slated to take place next spring, however, it has now been pushed to 2022.

The police transition has been a contentious issue, with many arguing it’s an unnecessary move and criticizing its increasing costs.

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Scrapping the RCMP was a major part of McCallum’s election campaign. The creation of the municipal force has raised questions and criticisms over the past couple of years, with costs remaining a big question.

B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth approved the police transition plan in February. He has said that the switch to a municipal force will happen and ultimately up to the city.