Surrey Police Board Administrator Clarifies Facts on Surrey Police Service Costs
Today, Mayor Brenda Locke issued a media release erroneously claiming that Surrey Police Service (SPS) is running a deficit budget.
SPS officers currently make up approximately 30% of the deployed service working to keep Surrey safe every day.
The facts are that, with Mayor Locke as Chair, the SPS Board submitted a 2023 budget of $157.6M to the City of Surrey. During 2023, on the basis of plans to eliminate the SPS and return to the RCMP, the City reduced this budget to $48.8M for 2023 – a cut of 70%.
Quoting from the City’s 2023 Q3 Financial Report:
“The SPS 2023 budget [$48.8M] was based on salaries and operating costs for SPS staffing and operations only until such time that the RCMP was the sole policing services provider for the City.”
“[The] RCMP Contract currently has a favourable variance of $19.68 million due predominately to the fact that the RCMP was budgeted for a funded strength of 759, excluding integrated teams, but is currently staffed at lower than the budgeted strength.”
Mike Serr, Surrey Police Board Administrator states, “With the decision by Minister Farnworth in July 2023, and the subsequent amendments to the Police Act that require the transition to be completed, Surrey Police Service officials worked with City officials to arrive at a budget of $75M to carry SPS through to the end of 2023. Continuing her fight to ignore the provincial decision and requirements of the new Police Act, the Mayor refused to provide formal approval of the agreed to budget and is now misrepresenting this as ‘overspending’ in relation to her 70% cut. Regardless of this cut, SPS will close the year under the $75M budget.”
“The transition is legally bound to continue. This means that the SPS budget will continue to increase, as the RCMP detachment’s budget needs will decrease. It is inappropriate to suggest that the continued hires and associated budget is a burden on taxpayers, just as it is unfair to refuse to pay these officers,” Serr continued.
SPS and the Board wish to work in coordination with the elected officials of the City. The Board has extended a request to meet with the City Council, and would welcome a positive response.
SPS will continue to work with all partners to move forward with the Minister’s direction to complete the transition. In the meantime, we value our strong relationship on the frontline with the RCMP as we work together in the current 70:30 blended service, ensuring safety for the people of Surrey.
Surrey Police Board