The Surrey Police Service has revealed the uniform and equipment officers will be wearing once they begin patrolling the city this month.
In a news release issued Tuesday (Nov. 16), the SPS said the uniform features padded duty belts, lightweight soft body armour, and an external carrier with “Quickloc” side attachments. The uniforms also feature radio and equipment holders, which are designed to maximize comfort and weight distribution to minimize strain and injury.
Officers are to carry 9mm Glocks with mounted lights, slash and puncture resistant duty gloves, tourniquets, and CEWS (conducted energy weapons). Prior to deployment, a “significant number” of SPS officers are to be trained in patrol carbine and in the 40mm launcher. The 40mm launcher, SPS said, adds to the officers less lethal use of force options.
The first group of officers will not be wearing body cameras.
SPS media liaison Ian MacDonald told the Now-Leader that the use of body cameras has been contemplated, however, there has not yet been a purchase. He said body cameras are “definitely on the table.”
“We’re very aware of both the public’s desire to have them. And, given that we’re aiming to be a progressive police force, we know that technology is part of progress,” MacDonald said.
The shoulder flashes on the SPS uniform feature the Coast Salish eye, a fess (check) pattern, and six stars – one for each of Surrey’s town centres (Cloverdale, Guildford, Fleetwood, Newton, South Surrey, and Whalley/City Centre).
The Coast Salish eye and fess pattern repeat on the external carrier.
“The Surrey Police Service uniform, fit and materials were selected based on durability, comfort, and functionality, as well as feedback from our experienced police officers,” Chief Const. Norm Lipinski said in the release. “Employee wellness is a priority for SPS, and that extends to the uniform and equipment we have carefully selected for our officers.”
The SPS said that by Nov. 30, the first group of experienced SPS officers are to be assigned duties within the Surrey RCMP. It’s the first step in the phased, integrated transition process that is being managed by the Surrey Policing Transition Trilateral Committee comprised of representatives from three levels of government.
The SPS and RCMP are to share more details on the first deployment, and what residents can expect, in the coming weeks.