Surrey RCMP Diversity Outreach Unit is an unique and dedicated detachment created in order to engage more positive communication within Surrey community. The actual unit has existed in the mid 1990’s but has been developed into a specific subdivision only in the last 2 years.
The Unit collaborates with non profit and immigrant settlement agencies, Surrey School District, religious and cultural institutions, local First Nations and the Indigenous organizations. Diversity Outreach Unit participates in different activities and events. Those visits are regular, which helps building more trust and bring communities together. In 2017 the events included Vaisakhi (historical and religious festival), National Aboriginal Day, Pulling Together Canoe Journey (10 day paddling journey with the public service individuals and First Nations people), and Eid ul-Adha (Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son). Pulling Together Canoe Journey was an incredible opportunity to partnered with Semiahmoo First Nations people. RCMP had its own canoe with a team of police officers, City Staff and youth from Surrey School District.
Engaging with the community helps to strengthen relationships between RCMP and the public and also resolve any issues through consultations on a spot. An open dialogue is also held at diversity round tables organized by The Unit. The topics may include crime prevention, youth intervention information, and cultural sensitivity. Diversity Outreach Unit is also a member of different local committees such as Surrey Local Immigration Partnership, Intermunicipal Diversity Committee, Urban Aboriginal Leadership Committee, the Seniors’ Advisory & Accessibility Committee, and the Surrey Delta Intercultural Council.
The other area of expertise is public safety training forums. They are presented in different languages with an assigned police officer who speaks the language. Since 2016, there were forums held in Mandarin, Somali, Punjabi, and Arabic. Moreover, those officers are highly educated and have the experience working in social services, diversity or community engagement fields. All this helps creating trust so people will be more likely reporting any crimes.
The best way to measure success of The Unit is through education. “We educate our members and staff internally and their increased awareness around diversity issues are things we can qualify”, claims Constable Charanjit Marjara.
Pulling Together Canoe Journey
Surrey RCMP Open House