SURREY, BC – Following the Surrey Police Board’s (SPB) July report on sworn officer status and the swearing-in of newly hired Surrey Police Service (SPS) officers, the National Police Federation (NPF) is raising new questions and concerns about the costs of the delayed and unpopular proposed municipal police service.
With 68 new officers reportedly now hired or pending, and the majority working on administration, policy, and recruitment rather than police operations or community safety, Surrey taxpayers are paying millions of dollars each year for these officers to sit behind desks.
“We estimate that each officer’s annual compensation including benefits equates to at least $200,000 annually. This represents a taxpayer cost of over $13,600,000 annually, although with the delayed transition none of these officers are actively policing the streets,” said Brian Sauvé, President, National Police Federation. “For years, Surrey has failed to fund new RCMP Members to protect and serve the community, and now the Mayor is paying new SPS officers to sit behind a desk for months purely as a public relations exercise.”
A second report from the SPB also shows the SPS is spending more than $600,000 on Communications and Marketing in 2021 alone. The delayed and unpopular Surrey Police Service has tripled in cost since original estimates and is already costing taxpayers millions in increased property and business taxes with no new officers policing Surrey streets. Recent property tax hikes to fund the Surrey Police Service saw some Surrey residents facing nearly 30% tax increases. Some locally owned family businesses, struggling to stay above water during the pandemic, saw increases of more than 50% in their business taxes.
The National Police Federation has developed a list of information Surrey residents deserve about these costly new officers:
- What value are these officers bringing to taxpayers now when they can’t be assigned to active duty for months or years?
- Are all these officers responsible for recruiting officers from other municipalities, adding to the destabilization of policing across the province?
- How long is Surrey prepared to pay officers not assigned to active duty?
- Has the City developed a budget for these officers?
- Are these officers accounted for in the transition budget?
- What is the real transition date?
“This is all about the Mayor spending taxpayer money to distract from his delayed and unpopular plan,” added Sauvé. “Instead of doing the work that would be required to fulfill his campaign promises, he’s spending thousands of dollars a month to hide his failures from the public.”
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by focusing on increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
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Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations