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It’s time to build the best police department in British Columbia: Councillors Linda Annis and Mike Bose

Surrey, B.C. (July 19, 2023): Surrey First councillors Linda Annis and Mike Bose say the decision by the provincial government to continue the transition to the Surrey Police Service from the RCMP means it is “time to move on and start building the best police department in British Columbia.”

“The costly and divisive on-again-off-again policing debate is finally over,” said Annis. “While we wanted a referendum to give Surrey taxpayers their say, the province has made its decision, and it’s now time to move on and get past the emotion and arguments of the past five years. We need to put the past in the rearview mirror and get on with completing the transition to the Surrey Police Service and making the SPS the very best police department in the province.

“After all the time and money that has been spent to date, the people of Surrey deserve that, and we’ll be doing everything we can to support our SPS officers every step of the way. That said, we want complete transparency from city hall, something that has been missing from the start of this divisive and costly transition process. The fact is, absolute transparency is key to earning the full support of our taxpayers and residents, but I’m confident the SPS can do the job of policing our growing city. There’s plenty to build on, but we should also be aiming even higher in the demanding years ahead.”

Bose said it is now time to unite around our police officers and end the debate that has sidetracked Surrey for too long.

“Our focus now should be on creating the sort of first-rate police service Surrey residents can be proud of each and every day,” added Bose. “It’s true that over the past five years Surrey taxpayers and voters have been left out of big policing decisions, but this provincial decision means it is now time to unite behind the SPS and focus on the future, rather than dwelling on the past and what has divided us for so long.”

Bose said the men and women of the RCMP deserve the thanks of Surrey residents for stepping up for more than 70 years.

“Regardless of the colour of the uniform, every officer who works on the frontline to protect our city and our families has earned our thanks and our respect, and that’s certainly true of the men and women of the RCMP,” noted Bose. “All of us need to thank our RCMP detachment as we now move forward with the SPS. The decision is made, and I’m only sorry that so many RCMP and SPS officers felt as though they were caught in the middle of all this, because each of them deserved so much better.”

Annis said Surrey’s RCMP detachment set a high bar for policing and public safety in Surrey.

“Around the world the RCMP are known for their professionalism, courage, and commitment to the citizens and communities they serve,” said Annis. “Everyone in Surrey appreciates and respects the work of our RCMP officers because they have always set a high standard, and I expect that standard to continue with the SPS as we shape policing for the future in Surrey.

“If this expensive and time-consuming transition exercise has done anything, it has reinforced that Surrey residents have high expectations of their police service. Now it’s time to unite and get to work. The men and women of the RCMP deserve our thanks, the officers of the SPS deserve our support, and Councillor Mike Bose and I want to encourage our entire community to join us and get behind the SPS as we build the very best police department in our province.”