On July 19, 2023, British Columbia's Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, directed the City of Surrey to move forward with the Surrey Police Service.
Please know that the RCMP was prepared to support whatever decision was made. For several years, the City of Surrey and the provincial government have been examining their policing options. At each stage, the RCMP has been ready to adapt. Much of our work will not change: We will continue to collaborate effectively with our international, provincial/territorial, and municipal law enforcement partners, just as we have done with Surrey Police Service officers for the past year and a half. We remain committed to preserving the safety and security of citizens in all the communities where we serve, and we will respect the choices they make about how best to meet their policing needs.
Today, I want to emphasize that the wellbeing of our employees is just as important. I understand that it can be difficult to see the RCMP's work being debated in public, particularly in the context of broader discussions about contract policing. As I mentioned in a recent broadcast, the Government sets the direction for contract policing. This means that our service model in specific jurisdictions can sometimes change. It is not a reflection of any individual's work. The efforts of RCMP employees will continue to have a lasting positive impact on individuals and communities, including people in Surrey.
To our amazing team out in Surrey, please know that this transition will not happen overnight. Change takes time, and there will be lots of further updates and information coming your way. If you have questions about your specific circumstances, please share them with your direct supervisor, recognizing that they might not have all the answers just yet. Your Commanding Officer and I will continue to share as much information as we can, as soon as we can. In the meantime, if you find yourself struggling with the stress and uncertainty associated with today's announcement, please use the resources that are available to you. I also want to be very clear that the RCMP is focused on recruitment, and your skills continue to be needed. Even after this transition is complete, the RCMP will continue to engage with you and support you in taking the next steps in your career.
Finally, I want to thank all RCMP employees for remaining dedicated and professional throughout the lengthy process to reach this point. I am so proud of the work our employees carry out each and every day across the country, and this news hasn't changed that one bit.