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City of Surrey stays local for new police chief, taking over from RCMP


Chris Madsen
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City of Surrey announced last Friday that Norm Lipinski, from the Delta Police (deputy chief), will be the new chief of the municipal police force being stood up to take over from the RCMP.

Surrey announces new police chief for municipal force taking over from RCMP | The Star

Delta's Lipinski described as 'right leader' for new Surrey police force | Delta Optimist (delta-optimist.com)

 

RCMP still seems to be in denial about the prospect of losing its largest detachment in Canada.  Survey last August suggests only 14% of RCMP members in the municipality would transfer to a new city police force, if offered the chance.  

Just 14% of Surrey RCMP members plan to sign up with new municipal force: survey - BC | Globalnews.ca

Given the RCMP's current and ongoing problems over a toxic work environment, Surrey would probably be better to recruit from other sources, and sever the ties with the RCMP completely.  Then, the RCMP members freed up could be redeployed for federal policing duties, where they belong.

Interesting to see what the new Surrey Police badge will look like.

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An independent report penned by former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michel Bastarache titled The Broken Dreams Broken Lives and released on 19 November 2020, concluded that a toxic work environment is rampant throughout the RCMP.

RCMP_Final-Report_Broken-Dreams.pdf (merlodavidson.ca)

Never a good sign when the Prime Minister agrees:

Trudeau reacts to independent report on RCMP's “toxic" environment (msn.com)

Interesting to see the prime minister snub the RCMP representative in the receiving line during the Ottawa ceremonies on Rememberance Day, the week previous.

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The RCMP Officer-in-Charge of the Surrey detachment moved on to higher duties after an outburst at a Surrey Chamber of Commerce event in October 2019:

Surrey RCMP top cop lashes out at critics during award ceremony speech | Watch News Videos Online (globalnews.ca)

Chief Superintendent Brian Edwards, the new OIC Surrey detachment, has proven much more attuned to political imperatives and public sentiment about the transition to a new city police force:  

Surrey RCMP - Welcoming Chief Superintendent Brian Edwards (rcmp-grc.gc.ca)

Chief Superintendent Brian Edwards is new Officer in Charge of Surrey RCMP | Desi Today Magazine

Surrey’s new top cop doesn’t believe residents have lost faith in the RCMP – Surrey Now-Leader

It is a bit of rearguard action though, when the writing is clearly on the wall.  The appointment of Norm Lipinski signals that Surrey is serious about getting a new municipal police force that may be a bit more expensive, but provides better service and is more accountable to the residents of Surrey and the province of British Columbia.

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The current NDP provincial government supported the move to a new City of Surrey police force and has reaffirmed its commitment to make that happen.  The opposition Liberals campaigned on reversing that decision, in the provincial election last month, and lost:

Surrey gets final approval from province for municipal police force | CBC News

Surrey Police will replace RCMP, government confirms – Surrey Now-Leader

BC Liberals promise to halt Surrey police transition, hold referendum | CTV News

The RCMP and its allies continue to say that the national police force is the better option, under the existing municipal policing contract that runs until 2022.

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