Volunteers behind fundraising that supports community policing efforts on the Semiahmoo Peninsula say the same strategy could benefit other policing districts in Surrey.
And the president of the Semiahmoo Volunteer Community Police Society says his group is willing to help those interested get the ball rolling.
“With all this stuff that’s going on… wanting to expand community safety is topical,” said Darren Alexander, referring to the recent spate of gun violence in Surrey and Delta.
The local police society has been in place since 1993, launched by former White Rock RCMP community policing constable Mike Lane (Lane passed away last July). While the first fundraiser was reportedly a garage sale, for the past 22 years the society has raised the majority of its funds through the annual Red Serge Dinner and Auction.
Those funds – $28,000 to $30,000 every year – support more than 20 community policing programs in White Rock and South Surrey, including LockOut Auto, Speed Watch, Victim Assistance, Business Watch and Code Blue. The latter is a program in which high school students develop inner strength, discipline and confidence through police-style physical training.
Alexander said social investment in a community is critical to improving its safety, and results on the Peninsula are proof the theory works.
And, “if it works out here, it could work in other areas.”
“In South Surrey/White Rock, we fund everything. We want to help the other areas… but we’re restricted to our boundaries.”
Alexander said anyone or group interested in starting a similar charity in any of the other districts may contact SVCPS at firstname.lastname@example.org