News

Surrey's police shift in wake of homicide shows need for separate detachment: WR mayor

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin -
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin
— image credit:

White Rock’s mayor says a mass redeployment of Surrey police officers to Whalley and Newton only strengthens his resolve to retain his city’s police detachment.

The 49-officer shift was announced by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts Friday, in an update on her newly formed Mayor’s Task Force on Causal Factors, which is looking into that city’s 2013 murders.

The announcement followed the Dec. 31 death of 53-year-old Julie Paskall, who died two days after she was brutally beaten during a robbery outside Newton Arena.

Wayne Baldwin told Peace Arch News he emailed his White Rock council members and city manager Saturday after learning of the officer redeployment, to remind them of what the city stands to lose in an amalgamation.

“If we had been merged with Surrey, you know where a lot of those 49 would  have been redeployed from,” he writes.

Baldwin reiterated to PAN that he has no doubt amalgamation would result in reduced police coverage for the seaside city.

“They would go to where the trouble areas are. That’s what you do: you take your forces and you concentrate them in the trouble areas and try and deal with that,” he said.

In his email, Baldwin predicts South Surrey residents will pay for the increased focus on Newton and Whalley, through a reduced police presence “for the next couple of months, or more.”

White Rock’s policing costs, particularly those for integrated teams, were cited last month as argument in favour of amalgamating the two forces, but Baldwin said he’s “not convinced” there would be financial advantages to such a merger.

Not only would residents lose the “no-call-too-small” service they currently enjoy, but they would likely pay more for the service than their Surrey neighbours.

“Since our assessed value is relatively high compared to most of Surrey, we’re going to be paying a way higher cost than anyone else in Surrey, for the same coverage,” he said. “I just don’t see it being a really viable alternative.”

In his email, Baldwin describes maintaining White Rock’s detachment as “our best defence against the crime migrating from Newton into White Rock.”

“There is a price to be paid for controlling your own resources, and within reason it is necessary to pay that price in order to maintain your standards – particularly when it comes to something as important to people as personal safety.”

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Stolen cars land three under arrest
 
Vancouver Police make 5 arrests while clearing out Oppenheimer Park
 
Police want charges against 25 more riot suspects
Election 2014: See who’s running for mayor, councillor and school trustee
 
Surrey RCMP seek car theft suspects
 
Speedway recovering from theft
MLAs shake fingers in quake exercise
 
Rai will run for NDP
 
Annual Diwali event takes place Oct. 21

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 16 edition online now. Browse the archives.