May 23, 2024
SPS Media Release

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski has released the following statement regarding the May 23, 2024 decision by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on the City of Surrey’s judicial review petition:

“Surrey Police Service (SPS) is very pleased to learn that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has dismissed the City of Surrey’s petition for judicial review of the Minister's July 19, 2023 decision and Bill 36 (Police Amendment Act, 2023).  

“In July 2023, Minister Farnworth determined that the transition from the RCMP to SPS must be completed in order to ensure public safety in Surrey and throughout BC, given the RCMP’s ‘critical vacancy problem in British Columbia and across Canada’. That decision was subsequently put into law with the Police Amendment Act, 2023.

“The court’s decision also brings an end to an 18-month dispute over the future of policing in Surrey that has unfortunately been plagued with delays and misinformation by those who wanted to reverse the transition after SPS had already been well-established. While the City of Surrey’s judicial review petition did not directly involve SPS, it obviously impacted our 427 employees and their families – today’s ruling brings them significant reassurance.

“SPS is Surrey’s new police service. That decision was made by the City of Surrey in 2018 and affirmed by the Province of BC in 2020 and 2023. It was then put into law in October 2023, and now it has been validated by the BC Supreme Court. It is past time for us to start working together to expedite the policing transition for the benefit of the RCMP and SPS employees, the residents of Surrey, and public safety in this great city.

“SPS is diligently preparing for November 29, 2024, when we will become the police of jurisdiction for Surrey. Our commitment to the residents and businesses in the city is unwavering and we are looking forward to building our futures together.”

Policing Transition Background:

  • In 2018, the City of Surrey decided to transition from the RCMP to its own municipal police service. The Province of BC approved this change, Surrey Police Service (SPS) was established in 2020, and work began on the transition from the RCMP to SPS.
  • Phase 1 of the transition began in 2021, with a blended SPS-RCMP policing model. SPS officers are regularly integrated into the Surrey RCMP detachment, while RCMP officers are redeployed to other RCMP detachments/units. During this phase, SPS officers work under the operational command of the RCMP, which is the current police of jurisdiction.
  • Phase 2 of the transition will begin on November 29, 2024, when SPS will become the police of jurisdiction, taking over responsibility for policing and law enforcement in Surrey.
  • To-date, SPS has hired 367 police officers and 60 civilian employees. SPS is the second largest municipal police agency in BC and will grow to have 860 police officers by 2027 (as per the City of Surrey’s 2023-2027 Financial Plan), and hundreds of civilian staff.

Contact Info

Ian MacDonald
Surrey Police Service
Media Liaison
Phone: 604-349-6985