The City of Surrey, which is transitioning from the RCMP to a municipal police force, will name Norm Lipinski as the city’s first chief constable at a press conference this afternoon.
Lipinski, currently deputy chief of the neighbouring Delta Police force, has previously served as a member of the Edmonton police and the RCMP.
A profile on the Delta police website describes Lipinski as “a credible and collaborative leader who is grounded in the philosophies of community policing and service to the public.”
“He has a proven track record for progressive police practices, community engagement, and positive labour relations. A hallmark of his success has been the building of strong teams,” the profile daid.
The Surrey police board released a statement this morning confirming the appointment. Lipinski is scheduled to participate in a virtual announcement, alongside Surrey mayor Doug McCallum and police board members, at noon on the police board website.
In August, the nine-member Surrey police board launched what it said was a nationwide search for its first chief constable. Critics, however, called the recruitment process a “sham,” comparing its two-week public job posting to the search for Toronto’s new police chief, which was expected to include a comprehensive public consultation process.
“Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s) words about building a modern urban police force ring completely hollow when you compare their process with what is being done in cities like Toronto,” National Police Federation president Brian Sauvé said.
Surrey’s job posting was also open for a shorter time than postings for chiefs in several significantly smaller Canadian cities, including Nelson.
The proposed operating model for the Surrey Police Service is for 805 police officers, down from the 843 RCMP officers in the current Surrey detachment. The force is expected to be operational by 2022.
It’s estimated the annual operating budget for the Surrey Police Department will be $192.5 million in 2021, which is 10.9 per cent more than the estimated RCMP policing budget for that year ($173.6 million).
MORE TO COME
With a file from Glenda Luymes