Date set for transition from RCMP to Surrey Police Service

The Surrey Police Service (SPS) will officially replace the RCMP as the police of jurisdiction in the Metro Vancouver municipality Nov. 29, 2024.

In announcing the date, B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the transition to the municipal police force will go ahead according to a collaborative plan being worked out between the two forces — with no impact on public safety.

Farnworth made the announcement flanked by B.C. RCMP assistant commissioner Dwayne McDonald and SPS Chief Norm Lipinski.

“Today we have reached a major milestone in this transition journey, setting the date for the Surrey Police Service to assume policing and law enforcement on behalf of the city,” said Farnworth. 

“I know this transition has been challenging at times,” he said. “More than anything, people in Surrey want this to be over.”

The transition has been resolutely rejected by Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke for years.  

Two weeks ago, Locke rejected an offer of $250 million from the province to help fund the policing transition, claiming that accepting the offer “would be to the detriment of our residents and overall public safety in Surrey.”

The deal would have provided $150 million for the transition over the next five years, and up to $20 million per year for five years after that to offset the difference between salaries for SPS and RCMP officers.

Locke was elected on the promise to cancel the independent police force and maintain RCMP, even though the transition had already begun.

But ultimate authority when it comes to policing rests with the provincial government, and Farnworth said the agreed upon pathway for the transition was happening within the existing legislative framework.

Surrey city councillor Linda Annis said she and many Surrey residents were feeling a sense of relief hearing Farnworth’s announcement.

“This has been an ongoing topic now for the past five and half years and everything has been sidelined ever since,” said Annis. “I think this is great news for Surrey.”


Posted in CBC