Surrey Police Board Remains Confident in Chief Constable and Policing Transition
The Surrey Police Board wishes to express significant concerns over public comments made by Surrey Mayor and Chair of the Police Board, Brenda Locke, on Tuesday, September 12th in which she cited a lack of confidence in the Board and Surrey Police Service (SPS) Chief Constable, Norm Lipinski.
It is the desire of the Board to work collaboratively with the City and such comments are counterproductive to a collaborative working relationship. The Board has the utmost confidence in Chief Lipinski, his leadership team, and all sworn and civilian staff of SPS. For nearly three years, Chief Lipinski has made significant gains in developing the infrastructure for SPS, hiring 400 sworn and civilian staff, deploying over 200 officers to serve Surrey residents, and navigating the jurisdictional and systemic challenges faced in this historic transition.
“The Surrey Police Board feels the comments made by Mayor Locke were unwarranted and are not reflective of the work being done by Board members or Chief Lipinski’s exceptional leadership throughout this policing transition,” says Melissa Granum, Executive Director of the Surrey Police Board. “Norm Lipinski is a dedicated public servant who has risen to a very difficult challenge in building and transitioning a large police agency. The Board stands behind the Chief, and our confidence in him has not wavered.”
When City Council indicated its desire to return to the contracted policing services of the RCMP in the fall of 2022, the transition was essentially paused until the summer of 2023 when the provincial Public Safety Minister made a final, binding decision under Section 2 of the Police Act to continue the transition to SPS. Because of this pause, existing agreements and plans expired and, to date, those multi-party plans have neither been renewed nor replaced with new plans.
SPS and the Board require collaboration from the City of Surrey, the RCMP, and senior levels of the provincial and federal governments in order to renegotiate new plans to move the transition through to completion.
The focus of the Board is on moving this project forward in a manner that is productive and respectful. From this perspective, the Board finds Mayor Locke’s comments extremely disappointing. The Board will continue to fully support Chief Lipinski and his team in their efforts to achieve police of jurisdiction status.
Surrey Police Board