Surrey’s mayor says the city is close to getting all the extra RCMP officers requested earlier this year in response to ongoing gun violence connected to a low-level drug war.
Linda Hepner asked for an additional 100 officers by next May.
Right now, she says 75 have been deployed, but she’s optimistic the rest will arrive on schedule.
“They have a year, contractually, to deliver. And that year is up in May. So given the speed with which they have delivered the first 75, I have every confidence we’ll see them even sooner than that.”
With retirements and leaves, how do the numbers balance out?
“Well, that’s the same with any corporation anywhere in the world, sometimes you have people away sick, sometimes you have people away pregnant but a number of things change that workforce – but in terms of what we asked for, these are all new officers.”
Hepner says the additional officers are making a significant impact, and for the first time she says many schools now have an RCMP liaison officer.
The push to reinforce the Surrey RCMP has been building in the face of growing crime in the city.
The extra resources have been in the works since hockey mom Julie Paskall was brutally murdered outside a Newton rec centre in 2013.
The push gained new currency amid a rash of shootings linked to a low level drug turf war which has claimed at least two lives since the spring.
Last May, the federal government announced the 100 new officers, along with $3.5 million for the city’s gang reduction strategy.