Police switch not so easy

Replacing the RCMP with a new police force in Surrey might be harder than first thought.

New Mayor Doug McCallum campaigned on the promise to ditch the RCMP, but "it's an enormous job," Simon Fraser University criminologist Rob Gordon says.

Questions include how many Mounties would move to a new municipal force, and how existing assets would be assigned.

Currently, more than 830 RCMP members work in Surrey.

McCallum says he's confident many would make the switch.

"We probably would get anywhere from 50 to 60 per cent of the officers that are currently in the RCMP in Surrey," he told CTV.

The Justice Institute of British Columbia trains about 100 recruits a year and could expand its training capacity. However, officers would have to be recruited first.

"The issue is replacing experienced police officers – experienced with work in a municipality like Surrey," Gordon said.

Surrey already owns the RCMP buildings in the city, along with hundreds of police cruisers, but they would all need to be rebranded.

And it's unclear who would have ownership of equipment including weapons and computers.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

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