B.C. replaces Surrey Police Board with administrator over troubled transition

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has appointed an administrator to act in place of the Surrey Police Board and assist the city's troubled transition from the RCMP to a municipal force.

Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, says all members of the Surrey Police Board have been suspended and he's appointed former Abbotsford chief constable Mike Serr to take over all their duties.

Farnworth says he acted because of a “lack of progress” from the City of Surrey in the transition to the Surrey Police Service.

Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke, who chairs the board, has opposed the transition and has previously accused Farnworth of bullying and misogyny against her.

Farnworth says the decision is not a reflection on the board members who would eventually resume their duties, and he thanked them for their "incredible" work.

The minister says he informed Locke of his decision and they had a "good, cordial conversation."

“I think this will move things along,” Farnworth said in a briefing, adding that “I’ve made it clear the transition will continue.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2023.

The Canadian Press