Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says this morning’s shooting in Newton that left a 22-year-old man dead is another example of why the municipality needs its own community police force.
In a statement, McCallum said that this “latest incident of deadly gun violence further emphasizes the need for the City of Surrey to have its own city police force.”
“The people of Surrey have been abundantly clear that such a move is a top priority, which is why Council and I have moved immediately to establish a Surrey Police Department and terminate the city’s contract with the RCMP.”
The shooting took place just before 1:30 am this morning in the 14200 block of 70A Avenue in the Newton neighbourhood.
Authorities received a report of an individual who was on the ground outside of a residence. When police arrived, the victim was found deceased. Surrey RCMP and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team are currently working on the case.
BC RCMP’s commanding officer Brenda Butterworth-Carr said McCallum’s comments “risk undermining public trust and confidence in policing.”
“With a homicide of this nature, people are already reluctant to come forward. Any erosion of public trust and confidence challenges our ability to solve complex cases with assistance from people who are often reluctant to participate in the first place. This concern is not unique to any one police force,” said Butterworth-Carr.
She went on to say that the Surrey RCMP will continue to serve the community until the force is “no longer the contracted police service.”
“I will not allow public confidence in policing to be undermined or eroded. I wish to assure all those engaged in delivering police services to Surrey that they have my utmost trust and confidence,” she said.
Earlier this week, Surrey City Council approved a plan to replace the RCMP and create its own independent municipal-controlled police force. The cost and timeline of creating a municipal force are still unknown as the process is in its early stages.
Other municipalities in the Lower Mainland that also have their own municipal police force include Abbotsford, Delta, New Westminster, Port Moody, and West Vancouver.
With files from Kenneth Chan.