As homicide investigators are trying to find yet another killer in Surrey, newly elected Mayor Doug McCallum took the opportunity to blame the RCMP for the violence.
McCallum said in a news release that the Newton shooting “is yet another example of the ongoing trauma and fear that are being inflicted on the communities, residents and families of Surrey.”
“This latest incident of deadly gun violence further emphasizes the need for the City of Surrey to have its own city police force,” he said. “The people of Surrey have been abundantly clear that such a move is a top priority, which is why council and I have moved immediately to establish a Surrey Police Department and terminate the city’s contract with the RCMP.”
McCallum said the provincial government is resisting the move he wants to make.
“I want to urge the premier to remove any road blocks at the provincial level and help us make this critical transition proceed in the most timely and smooth manner possible for the people of Surrey.”
The 22-year old victim, who was not known to police, was shot to death in the 14200-block of 70A Avenue at 1:30 a.m. Friday.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is in charge of the case. The victim’s name has not yet been released.
The top cop in B.C. responded to McCallum’s news release.
Deputy Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr said she lives in the region and is as alarmed about gang violence as other citizens are.
“It erodes our sense of safety and our feeling of community,” she said. “The fact that a 22-year-old man has been murdered is terrible. I feel for the family and for the residents of the Newton neighbourhood in
which this incident took place.”
She said Surrey RCMP and IHIT are focussed on finding the killer of killers.
Statements like McCallum’s are “undermining public trust and confidence in policing,” Butterworth-Carr said.
“With a homicide of this nature, people are already reluctant to come forward. Any erosion of public trust and confidence challenges our ability to solve complex cases with assistance from people who are often reluctant to participate in the first place,” she said. “This concern is not unique to any one police force.”
She said as long as the RCMP is Surrey’s police force, it “will continue to work diligently to maintain public safety.”
“Until Surrey RCMP is no longer the contracted police service, our employees must be allowed to and will continue to police safely and effectively,” she said. “I will not allow public confidence in policing to be
undermined or eroded. I wish to assure all those engaged in delivering police services to Surrey that they have my utmost trust and confidence.”
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