SPS Updates Newsletter
Subscribe to our digital newsletter here to receive updates on SPS and messages from Chief Constable Lipinski.
2024 Provisional Budget
Surrey Police Board Administrator, Mike Serr, recently released the 2024 Surrey Police Service (SPS) provisional budget to provide clarity and accountability to the public on the true costs of SPS. The total 2024 budget is $141.5 million. Based on the City of Surrey’s current financial reports, this budget accounts for only 42% of the City’s allocated funds for policing. The 2024 SPS budget was based on several key planning assumptions, including:
- The same organizational structure and number of officers as the Surrey RCMP
- Reduction of RCMP deployment and costs in tandem with the growth of SPS
- Two-and-a-half years remaining in the transition period from RCMP to SPS
- Budget alignment with the City’s current Financial Plan and one-time financial resources
Based on this budget, SPS would have 526 police officers by the end of 2024, which would make up approximately 67% of police staffing in Surrey. Ensuring a timely transition to SPS will reduce transition costs by eliminating the administrative overlap required to run two police agencies.
The budget was developed with guidance from Jessica McDonald, Strategic Implementation Advisor, and with support from Deloitte, an independent accounting firm. It was submitted to the City of Surrey on November 30, 2023, and we are currently awaiting a response from the City.
Read the Surrey Police Board news release
View the 2024 budget presentation
Policing Transition Update
Phase one of the policing transition continues, which has SPS officers being integrated into the Surrey RCMP detachment as RCMP officers are gradually demobilized. In January, another 11 experienced SPS officers were deployed into policing operations, bringing our current officer deployments to over 200. These individuals are primarily working on the Frontline and directly responding to calls for service, with others working in traffic, investigative sections, gangs, and mental health outreach.
The SPS officers who are not currently deployed into the RCMP detachment are serving other important functions:
Those who are waiting for deployment spots to become available in the RCMP are temporarily doing work to support the building of SPS. These include officers of all ranks who are awaiting deployment spots in frontline, traffic, youth, and various investigative units.
Other officers are serving in the policing administrative positions they were hired for. Like all police agencies, SPS has a number of administrative and support units such as Recruiting, Employee Services/HR, and Training. While the officers in these units are not ‘deployed’ into the blended SPS/RCMP operations, they are actively performing the jobs they were hired to do.
SPS’s sixth group of Recruit Constables began their training at the Justice Institute of BC in January. This group had the unique opportunity to meet with Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. We also recently welcomed a group of experienced Constables and Sergeants who are completing their SPS training in preparation for future deployments.
Learn more about our deployments and hiring
Coldest Night of the Year
For the third year in a row, SPS is participating in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser, in support of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen. Together with thousands of Canadians across the country, SPS staff will be walking and fundraising to support people experiencing hurt, hunger, and homelessness in our community. Please consider supporting this event by making a donation or by signing up to join this family-friendly walk on February 24th from 4:00-7:00 pm in Cloverdale.
Recruit Information Sessions
Do you want to forge an exciting policing career with a progressive new police service? Our SPS Recruiters are holding information sessions regularly for potential recruit applicants. They will share details on what you can expect during the application process and how you can stand out as a competitive applicant. Other topics will include the vision and history of SPS, recruit qualifications, application process, realities of policing, and salary and benefit information.
Visit the Recruits section of our website for upcoming Information Session dates.
Message from the Chief Constable
December 14th marks three years since I had the privilege of becoming the first Chief Constable of Surrey Police Service (SPS). While this has been the most challenging role in my policing career, it has also been the most motivating and rewarding. The opportunity to build a brand-new police service – to forge a new path instead of travelling a well-worn one – is something few police leaders get to experience.
Over the past three years, I have been impressed by the willingness of residents, businesses, and organizations to talk with us, share their concerns, and become our partners. Surrey is a very engaged city with many people who want to help. This is key because the safest communities are those where there is a collaborative approach to public safety.
I have also been impressed with the courage and tenacity of the 400 officers and support staff who have joined SPS over the past three years. It is not easy to go first. While joining a new police agency has been exciting and full of opportunity for our employees, they have also been under a microscope as one of the largest police transitions in Canadian history unfolds.
SPS also recently marked the second anniversary of our first operational deployment into the blended SPS/RCMP policing model. Over the past two years, our officers have responded to thousands of calls for service, providing us with insight into some of the key public safety issues such as gang activity, traffic safety, and property crime.
Following the enactment of new legislation to ensure the completion of this policing transition, Minister Farnworth appointed Mike Serr as the temporary Administrator of the Surrey Police Board to support the progression of the transition. As Administrator, Mr. Serr has assumed all governance duties of the Board, ensuring civilian oversight and accountability to the public will continue.
SPS’s 2024 provisional budget was recently approved by the Board Administrator and sent to City Council for review. It is a foundational budget for the growth of SPS as the policing transition moves forward. With the anticipated hiring of 180 SPS officers in 2024, SPS would make up over 50% of the blended SPS/RCMP police service by the end of next year. Importantly, the SPS 2024 budget is not predicated on requesting ‘new’ funds from the City, but rather shifting the allocation of funds from the City’s overall policing financial plan: as SPS scales up, our budget allocation increases, while the RCMP’s allocation decreases as they scale down.
While the exact plan for the deployments and demobilizations of officers for 2024 is currently being determined by the three levels of government, SPS, and the RCMP, there is no doubt that Surrey residents will see more SPS uniforms in the community next year and SPS marked police vehicles that are currently waiting for their own deployment.
There are many moving pieces to coordinate with a transition of this size, so things take time, but I am very excited for the future of policing here in Surrey. We are looking at a lot of initiatives to provide Surrey with an outstanding police service that is rooted in community policing and includes a comprehensive community engagement program and new gang prevention model. We are also looking at body worn cameras and a drone program, as well as having some two-person vehicles for a safer police response.
SPS has arrived and we are honoured and excited to be Surrey’s new police service. Our officers have already built many strong relationships with Surrey residents, organizations, and businesses, and that work continues every day. Trust is earned and relationships are built over time – SPS is committed to investing in this process.
On behalf of all of us at Surrey Police Service, I wish you a happy and safe holiday season. We look forward to a busy and exciting 2024 as the transition accelerates and we continue to expand our service to the community.
Chief Constable Norm Lipinski
Policing Transition Update
While the debate on policing over the past year created delays in the continuation of recruiting, hiring and officer deployments/demobilizations, the policing transition is slowly getting back on track following the decision of the provincial government in July and the new proposed legislation.
Surrey Police Service (SPS) is fully prepared to scale up the transition so this project can be completed in a timely and fiscally responsible manner. We are making progress, with the hiring of 19 more police officers over the past two months, and the operational deployment of 11 experienced officers in September. SPS now has a total of 338 police officers and 58 civilian employees.
Like any new organization, SPS needs to hire an appropriate mix of ranks, experience levels and skill sets, and then to be able to deploy those individuals into the positions they were hired for. We are working hard to bring the best experienced police officers and recruits to serve Surrey for decades to come, as we continue to build Surrey’s very own police service.
The Surrey Police Board presented updated financials at their September public board meeting. Year-to-date expenditures to August 31, 2023, totaled $43.0M for operations expenditures and $2.5M in capital expenditures. In addition, $5.4M has been spent against the City of Surrey’s one-time policing transition fund this year. You can view the full financial update on the Surrey Police Board website.
The City of Surrey also recently published their Third Quarter 2023 Financial Report. While SPS shows an unfavourable variance of $2.48M, this is due to the fact that the City only allocated funds to SPS up to July 2023. However, when the City’s full budget envelope for policing services is considered (consisting of City Police Support Services, SPS, and the RCMP Contract), the City’s financials show a $19.68M surplus for policing services.
SPS is committed to providing accessible financial information to residents so they can clearly understand the cost of both the transition and their new municipal policing service.
SPS Officer Named to IACP 40 Under 40
SPS Sergeant Kaleigh Paddon was recently honoured as a recipient of the 2023 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) 40 Under 40 award. This annual award recognizes 40 law enforcement professionals under the age of 40 from around the world who demonstrate leadership, exemplify commitment to their profession, and have a positive impact on their communities and the field of policing.
Sgt. Paddon was recognized by IACP for her outstanding work in building SPS’s Wellness Unit and integrating a trauma informed approach to SPS. As a certified nutrition coach and personal trainer, Sgt. Paddon has used her skills and knowledge to promote health and wellness throughout her 18-year policing career. When she joined SPS in 2021, Sgt. Paddon was put in charge of creating programs to support the mental and physical health of both sworn and civilian employees. She also partnered with a psychologist to build a robust Peer Support Program and Critical Incident After Care team that are based on the science of trauma.
Congratulations to Sgt. Paddon and all of the IACP 40 Under 40 award recipients!
First Responders Support Wildfire Relief
On October 1st, SPS hosted a Charity First Responder Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Seminar to raise funds for BC wildfire relief.
The seminar was facilitated by three local BJJ instructors including SPS Constable Christiaan Allaart, a 1st-degree black belt and operational skills instructor at SPS; Sébastien Lavoie, a black belt and retired RCMP officer; and Shawn Albrecht, a 3rd-degree black belt and paramedic. These volunteer instructors guided attendees through intricate moves of BJJ that relate to police and other first responders.
Twenty-seven first responders from municipal police agencies, the RCMP, Emergency Health Services, and local fire departments participated in the seminar, raising $2,005 for the BC Wildfire Recovery Fund.
SPS provides all of its officers with training in Gracie Survival Tactics, which is a BJJ-based defensive tactics program that uses leverage techniques to control subjects as opposed to traditional police use of force options.
A Message from the Chief Constable
In the two months since the Province of BC announced their final decision that the transition to Surrey Police Service (SPS) would continue, we have been working with the various parties to determine the next steps for the transition, now that there is a clear path forward.
Over the past two years, Surrey’s policing transition has seen the deployment of over 240 SPS officers as the result of agreements and plans involving the City of Surrey, RCMP, and provincial and federal governments.
Plans for each stage and aspect of this complex transition are created through the cooperation and collaboration of the parties involved in each component. Most notably, the Human Resources Strategy and Plan was put into action in the spring of 2022, and an updated plan will now be negotiated to continue the deployment of SPS officers and demobilization of RCMP officers into 2024. Once that is done, we will begin to work together towards the change of command, which will be phase two of this transition.
Over the summer, we were able to deploy an additional 27 officers to support frontline policing in Surrey. We also welcomed our fifth recruit class who have now started their police training. Our staffing numbers are available on the “Road to SPS” page of our website and updated monthly.
I know that residents have a vested interest in understanding the costs of SPS and the transition. Updated financials will be presented at the September 27th public board meeting, and the report is available at www.surreypoliceboard.ca/financial-updates. As of August 31st, our operational and capital expenditures for 2023 total $45.5M, with an additional $5.4M spent within the policing transition project budget.
As has often been said before, this policing transition is unprecedented. We are all travelling a path that has not been travelled before. This journey requires finding and creating new mechanisms to make change happen, and working together to lay a path where there may not have been one before. It also requires the input of multiple parties so we can collectively ensure public safety is maintained and the many people who work in policing in Surrey are supported through this change.
Our work in meeting with and understanding the communities we serve here in Surrey is also continuing. Throughout the summer, our Community 1st Unit was out and about at many events around Surrey. This unit supports meaningful and long-term engagement with the community. Please say hello when you see our bright blue Community 1st vehicle!
You may have also seen the Cops for Cancer riders out on the roads over the past week as they cycle 800 km to raise funds for childhood cancer research. I am very proud of the five SPS officers and the rest of the Tour de Valley team for being a part of such an impactful event.
Surrey Police Service will also be in attendance at the BC Law Enforcement Memorial in Victoria this Sunday to honour the 131 individuals who have died in the line of duty while serving BC communities.
We will also be joining the Semiahmoo First Nation for the annual Walk for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th to reflect on the legacy of the residential school system. It is critical for all SPS employees to understand this history so we can support public safety with Indigenous communities in a respectful manner.
I look forward to meeting many of you this fall and to updating you on the policing transition as it progresses.
Chief Constable Norm Lipinski
Policing Transition Update
Since Minister Farnworth’s recent decision that the policing transition to Surrey Police Service (SPS) will continue, we have been working with all partners to resume the transition safely and efficiently. Chief Lipinski has met with the provincial strategic implementation advisor, RCMP, and City of Surrey to determine a timeline for the hiring and deployment of more SPS officers, with the corresponding demobilizations of RCMP officers.
SPS officers currently make up over 50% of Frontline policing response in Surrey. In September, SPS will be deploying another group of experienced officers into policing operations, and our fifth class of recruits will begin their training at the Justice Institute of BC.
You can learn more about phase one of Surrey’s policing transition at www.surreypolice.ca/spspolicing-transition.
Indigenous Circles of Understanding
SPS’s Indigenous Relations Unit (IRU) is committed to engaging with Indigenous people in a manner that is based on mutual respect, understanding and education.
To help our police officers understand the history of Indigenous people in Canada, SPS holds “Circles of Understanding” with officers and Indigenous people with lived experience. This in-person sharing circle, modeled after the Indigenous way of learning, involves a dialogue that highlights the profound and ongoing impact that the residential school system and other government policies have had on Indigenous people.
This past spring, the IRU hosted eight Circles of Understanding with guests Tina Taphouse, an Interior Salish artist, and Francis James, of the Stó:lō and Musqueam Nations. Tina and Francis openly shared their respective life stories as survivors of the Sixties Scoop, a period of time where Indigenous children were taken from their communities without the consent of their family and band. Officers were also educated on why police uniforms might be negatively perceived by Indigenous people, and how inter-generational trauma can lead to mistrust, fear, or anger.
Importantly, these Circles of Understanding help SPS officers understand why they may encounter a negative reaction from some Indigenous people while they are simply carrying out their duties or wearing their uniform. Officers are encouraged to use this new understanding to foster relationships with Indigenous community members during every interaction.
To date, 85% of our experienced officers have participated in a Circle of Understanding at SPS, and all SPS recruits experience this as a part of their training at the Justice Institute of BC.
The Surrey Police Board presents a financial update at each public board meeting. The June update outlines the year-to-date expenditures for SPS operations, totaling $34.6M. The report details the amounts spent on salaries and benefits, capital expenditures, and other expenses such as training, communications, supplies, and outsourced services.
The City of Surrey also set up a one-time policing transition fund of $63.7M in 2020. This fund is used for one-time costs required to establish SPS. The June financial update details the expenses that have drawn upon the policing transition fund in 2023, totaling $4.2M. These expenditures included IT systems; purchases of equipment, uniforms and vehicles; and legal, financial and HR services related to the set-up of SPS.
Putting Community First
As a new police service, our goal is to put the community first in all that we do by developing relationships with Surrey’s many diverse communities.
Over the summer, officers from our Community Policing Bureau and Community 1st Unit met with a variety of organizations, businesses, and communities to hear about safety concerns, conduct foot patrols, and introduce themselves. We also attended a number of events to meet Surrey residents and visitors, including Surrey Canada Day, Latin Fest, Canada Cup International Softball Tournament, Fusion Festival, Miri Piri Nagar Kirtan, and Cloverdale Market Days.
If you’d like to connect with us or invite SPS to your community event, please email email@example.com.
A Message from the Chief Constable
The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General has announced his decision that the transition to Surrey Police Service (SPS) will be completed. We appreciate the provincial government’s reaffirmation that the continuation of SPS is in the best of interest of public safety in Surrey and across BC.
There is no doubt that this is great news for our 400 employees and their families, but I also believe it is great news for Surrey residents who will now get to see the many benefits of a local police service, tailored to their community.
This final decision by the provincial government marks the end of years of uncertainty for residents and all policing staff in Surrey. It is now time to move ahead. The more efficient and effective we can be in completing this transition in a timely fashion, the more fiscally responsible this project will be for Surrey.
Change is not easy, and we recognize that the long-standing debate on the future of policing in Surrey has caused some division in the community, but it is important to respect the decision of the provincial government on this matter. It is my hope that we can now come together and focus on continuing to build a modern police service for this growing and diverse city.
I know people are wondering what is next for the policing transition. We will now be working with the three levels of government and the RCMP to continue our phased deployments of SPS officers, and the corresponding demobilization of RCMP officers. In addition, we will be talking with the provincial government and the RCMP to establish a timeline for the rollout of SPS operational police vehicles, which we are very excited about. We will also be looking to the Province to establish a date for the change of command, when SPS will become the police of jurisdiction for Surrey.
To the residents of Surrey, I want to say thank you. Thank you for your patience, thank you for welcoming Surrey Police Service officers into the community, and thank you for your support. We are honoured to be bringing a new era of policing to Surrey.
SPS Continues Support of Policing in Surrey
Following the Province of BC’s recommendation that the City of Surrey complete its transition to Surrey Police Service (SPS), SPS continues to support policing operations while the Province and City determine the path forward.
SPS remains committed to serving Surrey and is fully prepared to ensure safe, effective policing for this city. Over the past eighteen months, SPS has deployed over 200 police officers into eleven different operational areas including frontline, traffic, youth, gangs, and major crime. Currently, SPS officers comprise over 25% of the Surrey RCMP’s detachment strength, and 50% of its frontline.
Every day, SPS deploys over 80 officers alongside the RCMP. As the current police of jurisdiction, the RCMP is in charge of all communications regarding Surrey policing files – even those managed by SPS officers. This is part of phase one of the policing transition, and it helps the public and media know where to get policing information, instead of wondering which agency to call. But rest assured, SPS officers are working hard each day to respond to your calls quickly, hear your concerns, and protect public safety.
You can learn more about phase one of Surrey’s policing transition at www.surreypolice.ca/spspolicing-transition.
2022 Report to the Community Released
SPS’s 2022 Report to the Community is now available. Titled ‘A New Era of Policing for Surrey’, this annual report covers the significant work that was done throughout 2022 to build SPS, advance the policing transition, and effect change in Surrey's policing model.
Amidst the global demand for policing reform, SPS is at the forefront of this change as Canada's newest police service. This report highlights SPS's commitment to surpassing the status quo through meaningful change, community engagement, equity and safety, access to information, and employee wellness. SPS remains committed to forging a new path in policing, while fostering trust, safety, and inclusivity within Surrey.
You can view the SPS Report to the Community at www.surreypolice.ca/publications.
Connecting with the Community
SPS continues to prioritize meaningful engagements and consultations with the community. Over the last few months, we have been invited to continue to build partnerships with organizations that we have been establishing a connection with since day one.
We were grateful to participate in this year’s Surrey Vaisakhi parade, with Chief Constable Lipinski and a number of SPS officers walking in the parade and chatting with attendees.
Surrey Crime Prevention Society volunteers regularly support SPS at community events throughout the city, and the organization recently honoured SPS with a Community Partner Award. We are very grateful for our continuing partnership with Surrey Crime Prevention, and for the work they do in support of public safety in Surrey.
Our Community 1st Unit has also been busy connecting with various groups. Sgt. Dale Quiring has been making regular visits to the Surrey Women’s Centre to engage with staff and clients, as well as the Salvation Army food kitchen to discuss ways SPS can support vulnerable people in Surrey.
A Message from the Chief Constable
Today the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General made a considered, comprehensive, and evidence-based recommendation that the transition to Surrey Police Service (SPS) move forward. We appreciate the provincial government’s endorsement of SPS.
This is a rare opportunity to build a police service that is rooted in the principles, values and realities of today’s world, and a chance to redefine policing for Surrey. This policing transition is not about simply changing the colour of the uniform – it is about bringing a new era of policing to Surrey. Across Canada, citizens have made it clear that they want to see policing done differently – with more compassion and trauma-informed practice, and less reliance on use of force. At SPS we are seeking to go beyond the status quo of policing as we find new approaches and solutions to public safety.
It is my hope that Council will recognize that now is the time to continue with this significant change in their policing model that will bring progressive and effective policing to the city for future generations.
I welcome the opportunity to work with the Mayor and Council and the provincial government on the very important next steps. It is my hope that we can now come together and focus on continuing to build a modern police service for this growing and diverse city.
To the residents of Surrey, I want you to know that you have a very dedicated and compassionate group of people at Surrey Police Service who are committed to your safety and that of your families. SPS is fully prepared and equipped to ensure safe, effective, and exceptional policing for Surrey, and we hope to have the opportunity to provide that to the residents and businesses of Surrey.
First SPS Recruits Graduate from JIBC
On March 10th, we had the opportunity to celebrate our first class of recruits who officially graduated from the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). SPS Chief Constable Norm Lipinski had the honour of being the Reviewing Officer for the JIBC Class 168 graduates.
These 14 recruits began their training with SPS in April 2022 before heading off to the JIBC Police Academy in May. They completed a total of 46 weeks of training at the JIBC and SPS, including on the job field training. With their extensive training, volunteer backgrounds and work experiences, they are well-equipped to support public safety and policing in Surrey.
With no time to rest, these new Constables were quickly deployed into policing operations a few days after their graduation, officially beginning their policing careers in Surrey.
SPS currently has 332 sworn police officers, with 219 officers who have been deployed to work alongside Surrey RCMP, as part of phase one of the policing transition.
You can read the news release here.
Connecting with the Community
From day one, SPS has prioritized consistent and meaningful community engagement and consultation. From engaging with the public while out on patrol, to holding in-depth discussions with community groups to help us shape our community policing model, all SPS officers understand the critical importance of working with the community.
Over the last few months we have continued to build connections with Options Surrey Food Bank, a number of local libraries and rec centres, YWCA/YMCA, the Sikh Academy, and many more. A number of our staff participated in the Coldest Night of the Year walk, raising $2,125 for the Cloverdale Community Kitchen. We have also been working closely with RainCity Housing to learn how our officers can most appropriately engage with local vulnerable populations, and to better understand Surrey’s network of shelters and supports.
SPS Hosts Gracie Survival Tactics Instructor Course
SPS recently held a Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) instructor course for 10 neighbouring law enforcement and first responder agencies, becoming the first agency to host a course like this in the Lower Mainland.
Focussed on de-escalation, GST is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu based defensive tactics program that uses leverage techniques to help first responders gain compliance from a subject, instead of using traditional police use of force options.
Over 35 police officers, peace officers and other first responders participated in the course at an SPS training facility, with SPS Constable Christiaan Allaart assisting the lead Gracie University instructors. Cst. Allaart provides GST training for all officers who join SPS, as well as weekly practice sessions for officers to continue to hone their skills.
Research shows that using GST in the appropriate situations helps to prevent injuries for both the suspect and officer.
You can learn more about SPS’s experienced officer training program on our website.
Talking About Wellness in Policing
Sergeant Kaleigh Paddon, who leads the SPS Wellness Unit, recently sat down with TenThirtyThree podcast host Nathan Kapler to discuss employee wellness and how SPS is creating a culture of internal support for its police officers and civilian employees.
The quality of policing to the community is directly correlated to the psychological health of employees. For compassionate and highly responsive care to communities, we must prioritize the well-being of our employees. SPS understands this reality and is working diligently to create a workplace culture that values and supports mental health.
In this podcast, Sgt. Paddon discusses SPS’s unique and proactive approach to wellness in policing.
You can listen to the full podcast here.
A Message from the Chief Constable
Last week we lost one of our own with the sudden and tragic death of a Surrey Police Service (SPS) officer, who was off duty at the time. We are devastated by the loss of this officer who made many friends here during their short time with SPS. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from the Surrey community and the global law enforcement community – we hear you and we appreciate you.
A tragedy like this is extremely difficult to process and we continue to focus on supporting the officer’s family and our employees. Wellness is a priority at SPS, and while we can never ensure any one person’s wellness, it is critical that as a police agency we invest in it consistently and vigorously.
Wellness is embedded in our culture at SPS – from our policies and practices to our organizational structure. We ensure that supports are in place for our people before they are needed, and we regularly check in on the health and wellness of all employees – particularly those who are experiencing professional or personal stressors.
Later this month, our SPS psychologist and Wellness Unit will be hosting the first SPS Employee Partner Night. This event is part of our ongoing commitment to support the wellness of our people and their families as they navigate the unique challenges of working in policing or having a partner/spouse who works in policing.
As we await the decision by the provincial government on the future of the policing transition, SPS is making fiscally conservative decisions around our spending, while still following the Province’s direction to continue to deliver on the transition plan unless there is a new plan approved for Surrey’s policing.
In late January, the Province of BC made requests of SPS, the City of Surrey, and the RCMP for additional information to help inform their decision. SPS has provided this information and is looking forward to a timely decision.
In the interim, SPS continues to work on policy development, supporting and training our people, responding to calls for service, and building relationships with the community.
Recently, we visited the Surrey Women’s Centre, attended the “WickFest” female hockey festival, and had in-depth conversations with RainCity Housing about their programs so our officers are aware of the housing and support programs available to vulnerable people in Surrey. We also look forward to participating in the Coldest Night of the Year walk in support of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the community for their ongoing support of SPS. Wherever our officers go, they are met with youth, residents, and business owners who are eager to talk to them about how municipal policing can benefit the community, and why they chose a career in policing. We appreciate your continuing interest and excitement in having your own municipal police service.
SPS Welcomes Third Recruit Class
Surrey Police Service (SPS) recently welcomed 11 more Recruit Constables. This is the third group of recruits to begin their policing careers with SPS, with the goal of providing excellent public safety service to Surrey for years to come.
After an intensive hiring process that began last year, the recruits will now begin their police training at the Justice Institute of BC. This group consists of five females and six males, ranging in age from 20 to 36. Collectively, they speak 10 different languages and come from diverse cultural backgrounds.
SPS’s Recruit Constable program is highly competitive with just 39 selected to-date, from more than 1,200 applications. Learn more at www.surreypolice.ca/recruits.
Reports Submitted for Provincial Decision on Policing Transition
In December 2022, Surrey City Council voted to submit a plan to the Province of BC to retain the RCMP as the police of jurisdiction in Surrey and stop the transition to SPS. SPS subsequently submitted two reports to the Province that support the continuation of the transition.
Surrey Police Service: The Future of Public Safety in Surrey details why it is in the best interests of Surrey residents and BC policing to continue with the transition to a local municipal police service. The rationale includes SPS’s proven ability to recruit officers, the challenges in terminating the employment of almost 400 employees, and the operational capacity of SPS. SPS’s second report provides a comprehensive update on our progress towards assuming police of jurisdiction status.
The decision on the future of Surrey’s policing transition now rests with the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, with a decision expected early this year. SPS is hopeful that we will continue to have the opportunity to build a modern police service that is victim-focused, trauma informed, transparent with policies and complaint processes, and compassionate to all.
In late November, SPS deployed an additional 33 officers into policing operations, bringing the total number of SPS officers who have been deployed to 187. The next deployment of SPS officers will take place at the end of January, in accordance with the SPS –RCMP Human Resources Plan.
The SPS officers who are not deployed are either recruits in training or experienced officers who are awaiting deployment and currently supporting the critical work to develop SPS.
Over the past year, SPS Sergeants and Constables have been deployed into positions on the Frontline, as well as investigative and community-focused positions. The current phase of Surrey’s policing transition involves an integrated model with both SPS and RCMP officers responding to calls for service. Learn more about the policing transition.
Unit Spotlight: Operational Skills Unit
The SPS Operational Skills Unit (OSU) provides mandatory and advanced operational training to all SPS officers that meets or exceeds BC Provincial Policing Standards.
SPS’s training program emphasizes community and officer safety. Even experienced officers who are hired by SPS go through a mandatory six-week training program before being deployed in Surrey. The OSU training includes mandatory qualifications, operational skills user courses, police tactics, and incident command.
The OSU also places a significant emphasis on de-escalation, training all officers in Gracie Survival Tactics (based on Brazilian jiu-jitsu), and Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics (ICAT), which uses communications to reduce the need to use force.
Our OSU instructors were awarded a 2022 SPS Unit Commendation for creating a progressive training curriculum that is based on best practices and in line with the goal of making SPS the best trained police service.