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Surrey opts to keep the Mounties

  - File
— image credit: File

Surrey is entering into a contract with the RCMP for another 20 years.

On Monday night, Surrey council gave staff the go-ahead to sign a deal to keep the Mounties in this city until March 31, 2032. The contract contains a two-year opt out and an enhanced five year review of services.

The Surrey RCMP detachment, the largest in Canada, has 661 officers and 250 support staff.

Coun. Linda Hepner said she's happy the city will be keeping the Mounties.

"I'm pleased that we're continuing with the RCMP for sure," Hepner said. "And I like some of the things that we heard from the city manager in terms of some of the costs, (which) may actually go down in future years."

Those cost savings for the city will be seen in what it pays for training RCMP officers.

Under the new contract, municipalities will continue to pay for 90 per cent of the costs, with the federal government paying 10 per cent. With integrated forces, such as the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, the costs will be 70 per cent for municipalities.

The province is establishing a committee to ensure new costs aren't dumped on municipalities without justification.

In addition, Surrey will have a say in who the top cop will be.

Currently, Surrey pays about $101 million annually for RCMP services. Although provisions in the new agreement will result in a cost increase of 1.6 per cent over the next three years, these increases will be offset by other changes currently under review by the province.

@diakiw

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