For the last few decades crime situation and policing in Surrey are the top issues. Issues on which resolution this community still waits and will probably wait for a significant time in the future. Whoever becomes next Mayor of Surrey this November will have very though battle ahead to reach final model for this problem. According to latest data made available on Thursday current situation is worse than we expected.
As per data released by RCMP and on request filled long time ago by now independent councillor Barinder Rasode now we know that in any shift we have only 36 officers available and on duty. That's far less than what is optimum for the city of this size. City of Surrey today has approximately 510,000 people and rise in population would continue though the rest of this decade. Buy the end of the next electoral term will reach almost 550,000 and that will force city administration to develop alternative ways to fight agsinst crime, to ensure fully functioning security and to ensure that each and every part of the city will have at least decent level of comfortable living.
Present situation is not much better than it was before when one of currently two declared candidate Doug McCallum was a Mayor of Surrey. Statistics are telling us that in his time, as per Surrey Leader article, in his time shift availability was slightly higher with 43 officers roadblock in any needed time. But based on his Twitter interactions with my colegaue Kewin Diakiw McCallum is in denial that in his time at the helm of the city we had any problems. Present stands could be read as that McCallum sees himself as the saviour mundi for Surrey and that all blame could be placed on his opponent(s) who're currently sitting in the council. Of course that is not true, at least not entirely, because McCallum lead this city for almost a decade and was councillor for additional term beside that. Situation than was not better, situation today is not better, so he bares responsibility that Surrey is in this mess as much as Dianne Watts, Linda Hepner or Barinder Rasode.
What is amusing is that McCallum who is currently the most vocal of all potential mayoral candidates focuses his social media and public attacks on issue of Police Committee which is closed for public. Whoever follows Surrey City Hall knows that this very powerful and important committee was closed before and it is closed today. McCallum never questioned in public why Rasode was removed from the chair of this committee by the Mayor of Surrey and why Mayor never kept her word that once Committee is restructured and strengthened?
Next question in line is why over the last decade since Dianne Watts won mayorship against McCallum he never ever spoke, not even as that “concerned citizen” as he described himself about these issues and problems. McCallum didn't even bothered to come out during the last campaign three years ago to express his opinions and to let us know that something wrong is happening with this city. So why we, as voters and public, would need to believe him that he's concerned about public safety and issues around police force on our streets?
Barinder Rasode who still prepares her platform and strategy for mayoral race proposed idea of hiring extra 200 community officers which would be trained on basis on which auxiliaries are trained today. This idea might be perfect solution or at least start of fight against crime in Surrey, but I'm afraid that implementation would need to wait on her to become next Mayor of Surrey because current majority will hardly accept idea if their former member and potential opponent right before start of the campaign.
As this campaign moves forward McCallum should start answering questions, presenting ideas how to fix issues and stay away of throwing all weight of responsibility on current Councillors more than it is their share. His sole opponent at this moment, Linda Hepner, should finally start speaking more and become engaged in this race if she wants to place a significant role in it. When it comes to third potential candidate Barinder Rasode we still need to learn from her if she's going to run or to put it more precise when it the day of her entrance to the race.