LETTERS: Community of safety

An open letter to the citizens of Surrey.

As the year draws to a close, I would like to thank you for your continued trust and support.

An open letter to the citizens of Surrey.

As the year draws to a close, I would like to thank you for your continued trust and support. I would also like to share some of the work the Surrey RCMP has done to improve public safety this year.

Our priorities of public safety, community engagement and organizational development have driven our work throughout the year, resulting in a number of successes and new initiatives.

Our homicide rate has decreased by 47 per cent, fatal collisions are down 23 per cent and property crime rate has decreased by 10 per cent.

Unfortunately, the city was plagued with a number of shootings related to the drug trade this year, driving our violent-crime rate. Our investigative teams have made significant headway in disrupting this drug activity and the related violence by making almost 800 arrests and detentions, resulting in 290 charges. I assure this continues to be our top priority.

Public-safety initiatives have included a joint operation with Metro Vancouver Transit Police, and the support of more participants in the Wrap program, a partnership with the Surrey School District to keep at-risk youth out of the gang and criminal lifestyle.

We have also made efforts to reach out to our diverse community through participation in cultural events such as the Pulling Together Canoe Journey and Vaisakhi, and meetings with community groups.

A significant accomplishment this year was the launch of the Surrey Mobilization and Resiliency Table (SMART) to address social issues before they become police problems. I am proud that our detachment has played a key role in bringing this risk-driven intervention model – the first of its kind in B.C. – to Surrey.

We have continued to increase community engagement, and you have responded. More than 100 new Block Watches were created; 900 residents attended our 15 neighbourhood-safety presentations; and 52 youth and adults participated in our Citizen and Youth Police Academies.

A significant focus has been on increasing our establishment of police officers. Since official approval of 100 new officers in May, 75 positions have been filled. In addition, 31 municipal employees were added to support our operation.

The growth has allowed us to enhance our service delivery, particularly with respect to uniformed first responders in general duty and youth policing.

Public safety does not improve simply by making arrests. I would like to thank every citizen and business owner who has taken the time to call us to report a crime or suspicious event, talk to us in person, join a Block Watch, or attend one of our crime prevention events.

The community plays an important role in all aspects of policing.

Thank you for being involved.

Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, Officer in Charge, Surrey RCMP

 

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