BY RATTAN MALL
TERRY Waterhouse, who has been appointed General Manager, Policing Transition, by Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum told The VOICE this week that they have “a comprehensive plan in place” for transitioning to an independent municipal police service from the Surrey RCMP.
Calling it “an ambitious project,” Waterhouse added: “We will be working extensively with experts and the government to ensure that it happens in a timely fashion.”
He said: “We will receive further directions from Mayor and Council and we will be building an internal team and consulting with external experts to ensure we have a thorough plan that will meet the needs of the Province and of the City.”
He is already working with senior staff in the provincial and the federal governments.
Waterhouse said: “We’ve only begun and the conversations are encouraging.”
Asked if he knew what exactly the City was looking at, he said, “Yes, there is a sense of what the end goal is.” He hopes to complete the transitioning in two years.
Asked if he were confident he could handle it within two years, he responded, “Yes.”
EARLIER, McCallum said: “With his extensive experience in the criminal justice system and his most recent tenure as General Manager of Public Safety, Terry is well suited to lead the transition planning to a municipal police department for Surrey.”
He added: “Terry’s expertise and ability to work with government partners, the RCMP and other external partners will ensure that the transition will be made as smoothly and as quickly as possible. I am confident that the Province and the RCMP will continue to work with us to make this change as seamless and as quickly as possible for the benefit of all the residents in Surrey.”
Surrey Council at its first regular meeting in November had unanimously approved a motion to start work on creating a Surrey Police Department and serve notice to the federal and provincial governments that the City will be terminating its contract with the RCMP municipal police service.
The evolution of policing services from the Surrey RCMP to a municipal police service will require a dedicated team focused on achieving a successful transition and Waterhouse’s new assignment will be integral as he develops and leads the transition process, the City said in a press statement on Wednesday.