Aug 08

Police Can’t Do It Alone

Barinder Rasode Surrey Community Policing

 

Surrey has a crime problem, but our RCMP officers can’t resolve the issues on their own.  I have repeatedly heard that we need to put more resources into community policing if we’re actually going to fix the problem.  We need to create a second tier of policing that will deliver an integrated, well-orchestrated community safety strategy.

This new team would consist of 200 community safety personnel who would target problem areas and deliver new crime prevention and public safety programs. 

The team would include 120 community safety officers to patrol and serve our six rapidly growing town centres.  These members would be trained by the City and the RCMP and would address the unique needs of individual neighbourhoods, conducting foot and bike patrols and other specialized tasks.  By-Law officers within this section would be given a new role and new powers as Community Peace Officers.  They would assist the police and allow the City to more effectively enforce its by-laws.

One-third of Surrey’s population is under the age of 19, and we must make sure they’re guided on a path to success. That means finding and helping the youth that need our support.  But, the number of officers working within our schools has not kept up with our growing population.  We need 38 school liaison officers, working inside our 19 high schools to assist and mentor our teens. 

Our business community also needs more support to deal with the increase in crime.  We need to create a 24-member Business Watch Program to enhance the relationship between businesses and the police, and to address the crime and nuisance activity that is affecting their livelihood. 

The rest of the team will be comprised of other neighbourhood community safety partners, such as volunteer ambassadors, community mobilization teams, and other personnel who would target hot spots and focus on crime prevention.

The team would work closely with the City’s valuable partners, including the Surrey Crime Prevention Society and social service agencies, to establish a comprehensive community safety program with an emphasis on ingenuity and collaboration.

Our community is calling out for help, but the police can’t do it alone.  The City’s revenues totaled $788.5 million last year, so we have the money to deal with this complex, yet fixable, problem.  It’s time to realign our priorities, fund crime reduction strategies, and create a safer city.

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