Letters to the Editor

LETTER: Wake-up call for Surrey

Re: Surrey Police Service cop, or cops, among 19 in B.C. under investigation for misconduct

Editor:

Re: Surrey Police Service cop, or cops, among 19 in B.C. under investigation for misconduct, peacearchnews.com

The Surrey Police Service (SPS) is not even fully operational and has only been partially underway for less than a year, and already has officer(s) under investigation for serious misconduct. This should have Surrey residents, already overburdened by the policing fiasco in our city, on alert.

The investigation stems from a formal training course operated by the Association of Municipal Police Chiefs of BC.

While Black Press Media did not report the specific behaviours under investigation, other news outlets have confirmed that it includes acts of sexual violence and defecation on participants. The actions have been variously described as “serious and concerning” and “grotesque.”

That Surrey Police Service are so-far refusing to comment on their officers’ involvement in the training course and any of their alleged actions is shameful. The public deserves full and forthright information about the people deployed fully armed in our communities. For SPS media liaison officer Ian MacDonald to say, “We’re not giving a number,” as reported in Black Press Media, is unacceptable and only leaves the public wondering about the force’s reliability.

For anyone wishfully thinking that the Surrey Police Service might deliver a new and better form of policing with greater public accountability, as has been promised by SPS proponents, this should serve as a wake-up call.

Police violence and acts of degradation are systemic, as recent cases of sexual harassment within multiple forces shows. This is reinforced by the fact that officers from eight forces are under investigation for misconduct in this case alone.

Dr. Jeff Shantz, Department of Criminology KPU Surrey

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