Shooting in Surrey leaves a 22-year-old man dead. (Shane MacKichan photo)

Shooting in Surrey reveals tension over city’s plan to replace RCMP

Mounties say a 22-year-old man died in what is believed to be a targeted shooting with gang-conflict ties

The latest shooting death in Surrey, B.C., has uncovered signs of tension over the city’s decision to replace the RCMP with its own police force.

Mounties say a 22-year-old man died in what is believed to be a targeted shooting early Friday, and it appears to be linked to the region-wide gang conflict.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum released a statement saying the death is “yet another example of the ongoing trauma and fear that are being inflicted on the communities, residents and families of Surrey.”

One of the mayor’s election promises was to get rid of the RCMP in favour of a municipal force, and McCallum said council is moving rapidly on that front.

The mayor said he’s “dismayed” by the resistance from the provincial level and he urged Premier John Horgan to remove any roadblocks to help the transition proceed.

RCMP Deputy Commission Brenda Butterworth-Carr then issued a statement in response to McCallum’s comments, saying as citizens of the region they, too, are alarmed when there is gang violence in our streets.

“Statements like this risk undermining public trust and confidence in police,” she said. “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.”

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth also responded to McCallum’s claims in a statement, saying the government is working with Surrey on its policing plan.

READ MORE: Surrey shooting being politicized

READ MORE: Surrey crime stats so far this year mirror 2017’s numbers

“No one is putting up any roadblocks,” said Farnworth. “We are prepared to work with the mayor. He has to be willing to work too. A new police force isn’t created over the weekend but the province is committed to working with the city as they move forward.”

The minister said the government wants to make sure a strong plan is in place that ensures people in Surrey have policing they can be confident in.

The government has invested in anti-gang programs in Surrey and enhanced policing and will continue to work to ensure people feel safe, he said.

Premier John Horgan said there is a “serious issue” with gang shootings in the Lower Mainland and the province wants to address that. He said the province would work with McCallum when the mayor brings forward a plan.

“We need to have a plan. You can’t just get in front of a microphone and say, ‘Why haven’t you fixed this?’ It takes work and he knows that full well.”

Butterworth-Carr said their department is working with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team to find out who murdered the young man.

She said she wants to reassure the public that their officers, the integrated policing teams and independent policing forces will 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. I will not allow public confidence in policing to be undermined or eroded,” she concluded.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Agassiz Community Health Centre welcomes its newest doctor

Nikki Cohen is one of three doctors practicing at the local health clinic

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Life rings, signs to improve safety on Harrison waterfront

Harrison council approved $125,000 in aquatic safety projects for the beach

PHOTOS: Harrison students take on the Bunny Run

Harrison Hot Springs Elementary students dressed up for the Easter event

No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

The approval of an updated business licence bylaw means Nolan Irwin is without a cart

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison celebrate National Pet Day

From cats and dogs to lizards and chickens, residents showed off the animals that enrich their lives

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

Most Read