An RCMP policeman patrolled the street on June 19, 2018 – The Strip. at 135A Street in Surry, California.

Rafal Gerszak / The globe and post

The manager, who is responsible for setting up a new police department for the second largest city in BC, states that the officer-to-citizen ratio is not relevant and he does not focus on it because he starts Surrey's ambitious plan, the RCMP to be replaced by your own forces.

"The relationship is not really the problem. An effective police model is what matters, "said Terry Waterhouse in his first press conference as general manager of urban police equipment at City Hall in Surrey, southeast of Vancouver.

According to government statistics, the ratio in 2016 for each RCMP official was 662 residents in Surrey, which was about average for the lowlands. Mayor Doug McCallum and his Safe Surrey Coalition won in local elections last month partly on a platform where the 50-year police management agreement with the RCMP was terminated to support an urban force that better meets the needs of the community.

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When Mr. McCallum was sworn in on November 5, Mr. McCallum and his team, which won seven out of eight council mandates, applied for their plan – the first visit by a local government since Mount Breton in 2000.

Mr. Waterhouse said Surrey will try to learn from those who have gone before. In 1995, the Abbasford town of Fraser Valley dropped the RCMP when they merged with neighboring Matsqui. The Matsqui police largely formed the basis for the current Abbotsford Police Department.

Mr. Waterhouse said he had been involved in policing during the Abbotsford transition. He said the city is still far less jurisdictional than Surrey, which has more than 500,000 residents and is the fastest growing community in the province.

"Some lessons have been learned. But we need to develop a plan that meets the needs and circumstances of Surrey today, "he said.

However, Surrey is currently focusing on the development of a police deployment plan that will calculate the necessary funds and questions such as whether the new force will have its own homicide squad, unlike the regional integrated assassination team, which handles some areas outside of Vancouver.

The city has police buildings in Surrey and much of the equipment used by the force. Mr. Waterhouse said he and his team will evaluate this inventory as they develop their plan.

However, he said that the two-year deadline for the change remains unchanged. "It's ambitious, but our plan is comprehensive and we are confident that two years will be a suitable window for this transition."

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Mr. Waterhouse, a former Vancouver police officer, has been the city's general public safety manager for the past three years.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, British Columbia Attorney General stated that Surrey Province wants to help achieve its goal.

Nobody builds roadblocks, Mike Farnworth said.

"No new police will be created at the weekend, but the province is committed to working with the city. We want to make sure there is a solid plan to make sure people in Surrey have a strong police they can trust. "

Mayor McCallum said earlier that the Justice Institute of B.C., which trains first responders, will be the key to training the new officers required for the force.

On Wednesday, the institute's president, Michael Tarko, said in a statement that they had not talked to Surrey yet and were waiting for instructions from the Department of Security before offering any help.

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He said the institute could meet the demand for increased education by focusing its capacity on the basis of provincial instructions and funding for the recruitment and training of police officers.

With a file from Colin Freeze.