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'I am not the sheriff' says Linda Hepner, in response to Surrey shootings

Last Updated May 3, 2015 at 7:34 am PST

(Courtesy surrey.ca)

SURREY (NEWS1130) – We are finally hearing from the mayor of Surrey following a dozen shootings last month.

Linda Hepner calls the shootings low-level crime, saying it’s more of a problem for the RCMP — not her office.

“I am not the sheriff. I can’t do more than that which we are doing, which is getting those police on the ground, responding to the events, and actually doing some significant preventative work,” says Hepner.

She points out the RCMP has 34 new officers.

Hepner feels crime, like these dozen shootings, would be faster-solved if witnesses and neighbours spoke to investigators.

She says they are now looking at some sort of strategic change to deal with crime. “That’s what local government could come up with. Are there policy changes that need to happen? The actual enforcement piece I will leave to our very capable members of the RCMP.”

Last week, News1130 tried to get in contact with the mayor, but we were instead referred to the RCMP.

Many people in the community seem to be in shock over Hepner’s comments with a lot of them taking to social media.

One person tweets “@LindaHepner is too busy with #transitplebiscite to sweat the small stuff. Or small ppl.”

Another says “Even if she apologizes, the damage to her credibility is done.”

Advocates from the Newton and Port Kells Community Associations are angry.

“It makes me furious actually. I’m angry and exceptionally disappointed.”

“We need reassurance from our mayor that she has concerns about our safety.”