My wife Theresa and I have lived in Surrey since 2002. There have been two occasions when the RCMP responded to alarm events at our house. We were away and so was our neighbour who generally takes care of our property when we are absent. The police responded quickly and contacted us to report no signs of damage or illegal entry. The situation could have been different, in which case the police response would have been crucial. By all accounts the RCMP are performing their duties ably within the confines of the budget made available to them.
If a greater police presence is required, then the mayor and council need to increase the RCMP funding rather than establish a more expensive municipal force. For the life of me, I cannot contemplate why Mayor McCallum is so determined to push his personal agenda when it conflicts with so many of the residents.
We see no reason to replace the RCMP in our community. It is difficult to get factual information and, in fact, any response from the mayor and council. Based on what we have learned, there is no determination of the costs to establish a municipal police force and recruitment of qualified personnel could prove difficult.
What I and other residents have requested is a referendum to determine the wishes of the electorate. This referendum could be conducted in conjunction with the municipal elections. In my view, it is the residents of Surrey whose voice must be considered.
There is a further consideration to be taken into account. The mayor and council have incurred a significant operating deficit. The only feasible way to balance the budget is to apply the funds they are planning to expend on the new police force.
Peter Ufford, Surrey