Barinder Rasode

Barinder Rasode

Election 2014: 200 safety officers by next year or council gets pay cut

City of Surrey: Barinder Rasode says council would have to take a 10-per-cent cut in pay if community cops aren't in place by next year

The biggest issue Surrey is facing is public safety, says mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode.

The city is short on police officers, there’s no policing model in place and Surrey is not engaging residents in the public safety process, she charges.

“I think it’s resulting in a higher level of crime…  increases in violent crime, but also what’s really important is what’s happening in our neighbourhoods,” Rasode says.

The three-year resident of Cloverdale says there’s a large amount of crime not being reported, “whether that’s nuisance crime or theft. It’s definitely something I’m hearing a lot about.”

The 45-year-old incumbent councillor said she would immediately create an office of public safety, a plan which has been endorsed by retiring Delta Police Chief Jim Cessford.

“It’s an evidence-based plan that allows us to implement community safety officers, but also takes the politics out of policing,” she says, adding most increases in police resources occur at election time.

She wants an end to that practice and have them brought on when needed, not just when politically expedient.

She promises to have 200 community safety officers in place by the end of next year, or mayor and council will take a 10-per-cent pay cut.

“We need to be accountable,” she says.  “It’s very easy to be at this point in the campaign making commitments, but that aren’t delivered after.”

Rasode says her 200 community safety officers will cost $8 million, however, that’s at starting salary only. Once the team is up to a full rate of $28 an hour, the total salaries will be $12 million. Add benefits and other costs, the cost will be more than $14 million.

Rasode says the money for the officers will come from within the existing budget.

She could not say exactly where within the budget it would be coming from, or which services might not be delivered due their funding being eliminated.

Rasode also wants to advocate harder for people with mental illness and substance abuse problems. Many of those people are a huge tax on police resources, she notes.

She wants a “certified clinical model” for drug and alcohol recovery houses in Surrey.

Public safety meetings would be held in the evenings when people could attend and appear as delegations, she says. It would also be live-streamed on the city’s website.

The next biggest issue for Rasode is a lack of viable transportation.

“Surrey has been trying to get more resources from TransLink, but definitely we’re going to have to look at a new way of doing things,” Rasode says.

She referred to the City of Portland, which contributed financially to the creation of its light rapid transit system.

“That’s something that we’re going to definitely get the community think tank to explore,” she says, referring to a community-based group of experts she’s planning to create.

“But while we do that, we can’t ignore the fact we need more buses now,” Rasode says.

Surrey, she says, needs to sculpt its neighbourhood planning around transit that it knows will be there.

“I think it’s putting forward thoughtful planning and development where we can stay closely aligned to the vision of both TransLink and the city,” Rasode said. “It’s about taking a balanced approach.”

The third issue she is most concerned about is accountability and transparency.

She wants to give residents and community associations more of a say in some key processes.

One of the main sticking points she has is the process of neighbourhood concept plans (NCPs) and how they are modified.

The public is deeply engaged in the creation of NCPs, but they are often quietly changed over time, Rasode says. While public hearings are required for those changes, she says public opinion could be sought more rigorously.

“The integrity of the NCPs, residents are telling me, is something that needs to be maintained.”

She recommends a “vision-setting” committee, including residents, that would oversee any changes to NCPs.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock council is narrowing the scope of the current White Rock Official Community Plan review to focus on building heights in the city, in keeping with the mandate it received in the 2018 municipal election. (File photo)
White Rock council to renew focus on limiting building heights

OCP review modified to reflect 2018 election mandate

Surrey RCMP is asking for the public’s help to find Jasvir Singh, who was last seen crossing the border into Canada on Nov. 24, 2020. (Photo: Surrey RCMP handout)
Surrey RCMP looking for missing man last seen crossing border into Canada

Police say Jasvir Singh hasn’t been seen since shortly after midnight on Nov. 24

Bonnie and Ken Fletcher’s annual Christmas lights display, complete with animated, inflated and hand-painted treasures, and more. (File photo)
South Surrey Rudolph & Friends display to light up this weekend

Scaled-back effort, ‘aiming to bring happiness’ despite pandemic

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
South Surrey woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Deb Antifaev

Tom Jackson and bassist Kirby Barber in a trailer for "The Huron Carole," from video posted to youtube.com.
Tom Jackson’s ‘Huron Carole’ concert in White Rock goes virtual to feed hungry Canadians

Surrey broadcast date of Blue Frog-recorded show is Friday, Dec. 11, to benefit Surrey Food Bank

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read