IN light of an overnight shooting that occurred with a good Samaritan stepping in during a violent home invasion, Surrey Mayoral candidate Doug McCallum on Tuesday called for an immediate City Council meeting to be convened.
[Police attended to a call of shots fired in the 7600-block of 146A Street on Tuesday at 1 a.m. Four or five people demanded money from one of the residents of a home and a neighbour received minor injuries when he intervened and was shot in the chin. The targeted resident is known to police.]
The latest incident comes on the heels of the tragic murder of 17-year old Serena Vermeersch, and another overnight shooting resulting in a homicide.
With Surrey City Council currently in Whistler attending the UBCM conference, the City of Surrey has been abandoned by those charged with ensuring the safety of residents, said McCallum.
“I think it is disgraceful that the Mayor and Council are not here in Surrey dealing with this wave of violence and murders that are impacting every neighbourhood in this community. I am imploring the Mayor and all Surrey City Councillors to call an emergency meeting so that immediate measures can be taken to stem this upsurge in crime.”
In the absence of tangible leadership at the local level, residents are stepping up with events such as the upcoming “Take Back Surrey” rally to bring the community together, McCallum noted.
He said that in the spring, the City of Surrey put an ad out on Craigslist for new Community Policing Officers, who have no ability to make arrests or engage with criminal activity, and who also do not answer to the City of Surrey. The promised 30 new RCMP officers scheduled for 2014 have still not been implemented at the Surrey detachment.
With new accountability measures outlined in the new 2012 RCMP contract, McCallum is suggesting that Council make an emergency request for all available officers to be put out on street patrol rather than sitting behind a desk. Mayor and Council should be speaking to the RCMP to come up with a plan of action to ensure the safety of residents.
“Instead of listening to speeches and attending hospitality suites in Whistler, Surrey City Council must be in direct contact with the RCMP to make direct asks for an immediate increase in the amount of general duty officers on street patrol,” said McCallum. “Residents need leadership and have the right to know what the plan from the City of Surrey and the RCMP is going forward. Simplistic safety warnings to be vigilant are a complete cop out.”
Doug McCallum and the Safe Surrey Coalition have released a detailed six-point public safety platform calling for an immediate increase to the amount of RCMP officers on street patrol from 36 to 72, the hiring of 95 new RCMP officers in 2015, and doubling the amount of bylaw officers out in the community from 24-48. The fully costed plan can be found in its entirety at: