70,000 students, more than one hundred schools, and only ten liaison officers.
In the wake of recent gun violence playing out on the steets of Surrey, Some parents are wondering whether the school district could be doing more to keep kids off the street.
“With staffing issues, there are all sorts of pressures.”
Manager of Surrey Safe Schools, Rob Rai, admits more Surrey RCMP officers working as liaisons would be ideal, but there is always pressure on resources.
As for the highly touted “Wrap” program, which helps at-risk teens get back on track, 40 students are on the wait list.
“It is always about capacity, right, we would love to get to them right away, but we also want to honour the work that we are doing with the kids we have now. Re-directing life paths for young people does take time, it does take resources and a lot of commitment. Staff and RCMP only have so much capacity and can only carry so many children on their case load.”
And guess how many drug and alcohol specialists work in the largest school district in the province? Four.
Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent of the Surrey RCMP, Bill Fordy, promises more school liaison officers are on the way.
“One of the things moving forward is as the city has authorized an increase to our establishment of 100 regular RCMP officers, you will see a number of those going to our youth section, and they have been identified specifically to go to the youth section.”
Fordy says staffing levels fluctuate, depending on the school year.