Last year was mother Julie Paskall, this year are three teenagers in eight days. This is probably the worst Christmas season in last decade if not in entire history of Surrey. Surrey which brands itself as a city in which future lives apparently started loosing its future in the most horrible way, future is murdered in early ages. Mayor Linda Hepner is missing from public and silent, Officer in Charge of Surrey RCMP detachment largest in Canada is also missing, City of Surrey/Mayor staff is running one of the worst PR strategies ever. Another Annus horribilis for Surrey…
This week came to the end with another murder in Surrey, it was number 17 of the year. Latest murder is third murder of a teenager in just eight days which is probably unregistered situation in history of this city since it was created more than a hundred years ago.
City of Surrey and Surrey RCMP are completely silent and not ready to engage in public discussion regarding this horrible events. Newly elected Mayor of Surrey, long term Councillor, Linda Hepner decided not to speak in public nor to address families of murdered teenagers. As it was seen on Monday on Council meeting Mayor nor Council found appropriate to express their condolences to families of two murdered teenagers at the time.
On Friday Mayor went in hiding from media and her team took over to communicate with media representatives. It would be better if they also decided to remain silent rather than to speak. Surrey veteran report Kevin Diakiw of Surrey Leader helped public to understand how unprepared for situations like Friday one current City staff and Mayor are. Mayor Hepner, earlier this year mayoral hopeful, already had numerous problems with media and her team caused several of them. Having your team informing journalist that you will not comment on ongoing police investigation when three of your youngest residents are killed is probably one of the worst ideas in the world of public relations. Continuing stream with absolutely careless statement that half a million plus city mayor does not have cellphone is unbelievable.
Whoever was, and is, behind these statements should be relieved of its duties in City administration and someone who knows how to deal with media in critical situation should be brought in to help Mayor Hepner with her public relations. On the other side Mayor herself should be more careful and observant of situation and avoid being target on social media and in media for her tweets of condolences and feelings for families of children killed in Pakistan before she addresses situation in her own city.
Surrey is still waiting on change of strategy which was promised by OIC of Surrey RCMP almost year ago, in February at Newton CA meeting, which was intended to move course of events in more positive direction. Also remains to be seen when 30 police officers promised by former Mayor Watts and OIC Fordy will come to Surrey. Newly elected administration promised that by the end of 2015 Surrey will get more than 130 new police officers, many are skeptical that this will happen and wondering if Surrey will get any police officers in 2015.
More than ever Surrey needs new crime fighting strategy and ways to protect residents from hands of those who inhabit other side of the law. When one community starts loosing its most valuable and treasured members, the youngest ones, it is a time for swift, energetic and complete action to stop and end forever murderous streak.