Surrey Police Board on a patio at city hall, in a photo posted to surreypolice.ca.

Surrey Police Board to start ‘reporting publicly’ on budget numbers in November

Board must submit provisional Surrey Police Operational/Transition budget for 2021 to the City of Surrey by Nov. 30

Surrey residents craving to know just how much the city’s transition process from the Surrey RCMP to a city-made Surrey Police Service will cost taxpayers will have to wait a while longer to find out.

Surrey Police Board member Elizabeth Model said Tuesday that the board must submit a provisional Surrey Police Operational/Transition budget for 2021 to the City of Surrey by Nov. 30, as is required under the Police Act.

During the board’s third meeting so far Model, chairwoman of the finance committee, also said the board’s finance committee has met with city staff “on several occasions” to review year-to-date 2020 budget numbers related to the policing transition.

“We will start reporting publicly on those numbers in November once we’ve had the opportunity to review an ongoing report template and ensure it meets our needs and it gives the public, Surrey citizens and the business community the information we want and we deserve,” she said.

That means anyone hoping to learn how much the Surrey policing transition has cost taxpayers to date will have to wait until after the Oct. 24 provincial election has come and gone.

Shortly after Tuesday’s meeting got underway, under Questions and Answers – Emails from Citizens, resident Debi Johnstone inquired of the board how much has been spent to date on the transition and if there are any updates on final costing for taxpayers. Model replied that this would be covered when she presented her report on interim financial measures later in the meeting.

READ ALSO: Civilian oversight of Surrey police deemed ‘fundamental’

“As for the 2021 budget, the finance committee will be working with the city to ratify that budget,” Model said. “When the chief is hired they will have the input regarding next year’s costs and the budget and it can be amended up to and until March 2021. The 2021 budget will be submitted to council by Nov. 30 and this is based on legislative requirements” under the Police Act.

“As with any budgeting exercise, this information will be made public once approved by city council,” she said. “Unfortunately in its draft form, it is not appropriate for the board to release this information,” Model said.

Model said, concerning the next steps for the 2021 budget, that the board and City will collaborate on three tasks, namely, to determine the “compensation and related overhead” for various positions and levels in the new police department, to verify requirements for one-time transition costs for the balance of the transition, and to confirm and ratify the Surrey Police Operational/Transition budget for 2021 so the provisional budget deadline can be met.

“The budget is reviewed by council. The City of Surrey is responsible for the final reading, for the fees, rates, budget and bylaws, and Nov. 30 is the statutory requirement for the police board to submit their financial plan,” Model said.

“The chief constable will have the direct input put in place for appropriate financial policies and procedures,” she said.

READ ALSO: Horgan says Surrey mayor opened ‘hornets’ nest’ with Surrey policing transition

READ ALSO: Liberal leader says referendum on Surrey’s policing transition would be in first half of 2021

The chief has yet to be identified.

Once he or she is hired, the chief will provide direction to “ensure appropriate financial policies and procedures” that support the new police force, including ensuring “best practice” in budget management and managing the transition and establishment costs. Model noted the chief’s duties will also include building an integrated financial management system, ensuring financial reporting requirements are met and establishing the police service financial management support model.

The next police board meeting is Nov. 20.

Meantime, Ivan Scott, organizer of the Keep the RCMP in Surrey campaign, says he’s still waiting for some transparency.

“I thinks it’s becoming a bit of a sham, to be quite honest,” he said. “I know that there’s been thousands of questions, virtually thousands of letters that have been sent to the board from very, very concerned citizens.

“I just don’t know where this whole thing is going,” Scott said. “It was supposed to be transparent and there’s no transparency basically any more.”

At Surrey council’s inaugural meeting on Nov. 5th, 2018 it served notice to the provincial and federal governments it is ending its contract with the RCMP – which has policed these parts since May 1, 1951 – to set up its own force. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth on Aug. 22, 2019 gave the city the go-ahead to pursue the plan.

The Surrey Police Service is expected to have 805 police officers, 325 civilian employees,and 20 community safety personnel who will take on lower priority, less risky, and less complex duties in order to” better leverage” frontline officers, All told, 84 per cent of the officers will be constables.

Surrey RCMP, in comparison, has 1,145 employees, 843 of which are police officers.

Model said Tuesday that civilian staff will transfer over to the Surrey Police Service in 2021.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

City of SurreyPolicesurrey rcmp

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

Just Posted

Ranil Prasad saw this poster near Surrey Central SkyTrain station on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. He said it expressed “some specific reference to white replacement theory.” (Photo: Ranil Prasad/@run_neil/Twitter)
Surrey man urges public to watch out for ‘white replacement theory’ posters

Ranil Prasad said he saw the messaging at a Surrey SkyTrain station

Washington State Department of Agriculture workers, wearing protective suits and working vacuumed a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Nest of ‘murder hornets’ found near South Surrey

String of traps set up along border to capture Asian giant hornets

Construction of Douglas College's Surrey Campus in 1970. (Photo: Douglas College Archives)
PHOTOS: Douglas College’s Surrey roots at a B.C.-first campus in 1970

The official date of the Douglas/Kwantlen split was April 1, 1981

B.C.’s parliament building, Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)
ZYTARUK: Votes come at a premium price. Time to pay the tab

Promises are rained upon the voting public much like confetti being blasted from the maw of a cannon, or particles of ash spewn from an erupting volcano

Loretta Hibbs (right), founder and president of Surrey-based City Dream Centre, with Kelly Voros (foreground), the organization's executive administrator. (submitted photo)
‘Pumpkin patch’ brought to Surrey inner-city schools where COVID cancelled field trips

Work done by volunteers with Surrey-based City Dream Centre

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers and staff by parents must stop, Chilliwack soccer club says

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

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

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

It’s been eight years since Gordon Spencer (pictured), and cousin, ‘Lil’ Bruce Mayo, were gunned down in a home in Langley, and Spencer’s widow is hoping someone who knows something will step up (file)
Eight years on and still no answers in Langley double murder

Wife of victim makes public appeal for people with information to come forward

Most Read