Surrey RCMP denies one of its officers hassled people for using their phones in McDonald’s drive-through

The initial allegation came just as the Mounties were going out of their way to win favour with the public

The Surrey RCMP has gone into overdrive over the past year to try to build goodwill in the community.

That’s because a major issue in the last municipal election campaign was whether B.C.’s second-largest city should create its own police force.

Mayor Doug McCallum now seems intent on following through on his election promise. The city even unveiled what Surrey police vehicles would look like.

If he succeeds in gaining provincial approval, the national police force would lose its largest municipal contract.

And it would come after the RCMP spent $1 billion on a new regional headquarters building in the Green Timbers area.

So it seems strange in the midst of this PR blitz that a Mountie would tick people off by approaching drivers in a McDonald’s drive-through to see if they were using their phones.

The RCMP, however, was quick off the mark in insisting that the officer was not checking phone usage in the drive-through. Good public relations always involves a quick response.

It’s worth noting that the Surrey RCMP also tweeted that drive-throughs are considered part of the roadway.

So it’s possible that motorists could be ticketed there for using their phones while waiting for a Big Mac. Just don’t expect it to happen when the national police force is in a titanic battle with the mayor for the hearts and minds of Surrey residents.