I’ve had the privilege of working with some really amazing police officers and RCMP officers, but when it comes to telling my own story, I’ve found often the RCMP is quick to pull the “this person is crazy” line instead of the “this person needs us to find the truth” line of things.

Right now, women have to report what happened to them – whether they want to or not – before they can get access to free counseling. I know this because I had to go through the process seven times, and I still don’t have access to proper counseling.

I live on the lowest branch of the economic spectrum and I know how difficult it is to report to RMCP who already have their own biases – which have been factually cataloged – without having to deal with cops who aren’t trained to deal specifically with those who have mental health issues.

Along with the police uniform come people who have studied psychology, who understand Addictive Opioid Disorder, and a host of other miserable lives with mental health issues, that will only be of benefit to the city of Surrey.

Cops who don’t have a connection to this community, and to gangsters who get away with one crime after another until their lives end inevitably in blood and bullets.

We need cannabis in this community and fewer liquor stores. I am saying it, for a variety of reasons, but because patients are tired of buying from the illicit market and because many, many hundreds of thousands of people visit Vancouver and head straight for the pot shops.

Cannabis provides jobs, education, and much-needed mediation to the community and if the city of Surrey would stop and consider the implications of having legal cannabis shops and cafes in the city they would say the benefits far outweigh the cost of legislation change and the stress of too many people crowding the trains and buses, just to find a cannabis shop in another city.

Surrey needs all the help it can get, and I can’t fully see how having mental health teams working with police officers is a bad thing, but then the money’s already been spent, so it’s unlikely that we have to worry about the police force leaving any time soon, but a lot can change in four years.

My question is if the police are not going to join the RCMP and most of our other RCMP officers have left the city for other jobs, where are we going to get a strong security force to protect the city? Are criminals just going to have a heyday because Brenda Locke and her council have decided that it’s better to have none than some at all?

Surrey is growing at an alarming rate and yet we don’t have a full set of mental health supports, we don’t have affordable housing, and we don’t have enough community support in general for those who were here before the redevelopment plans that started to take over the city.

Now you want to take away the few cops we have (for context Surrey BC has about 900,000 people living here,) and the last time I checked in and around 2015 there were only 800 RCMP officers to serve the entire district of Surrey which is quite large.

I just think that we need to start seriously thinking about who we vote for and how we vote, because when we’re talking about change we need to think about the fact that Surrey is going to continue to evolve whether we like it or not, and we can either evolve with it or get priced out of our homes because of political maneuvering that brings nothing but more darkness to an already stretched out district.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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