Diversity & Aboriginal Policing Section (DAPS) : Hate Crimes Unit | Citizens Police Academy | Diversity & Aboriginal Policing Section FAQs
Diversity & Aboriginal Policing Section (DAPS)
The Diversity and Aboriginal Policing Section works with specific populations within the City that have significant public safety issues. These populations can be defined by a cultural, economic, ethnic, sexual, racial, religious, marginalizing or some other distinguishing characteristic.
DAPS currently comprises an inspector, a sergeant, a hate crimes investigator, two constables, a program planner, and an administrative assistant.
The Diversity & Aboriginal Policing Section is accountable to the Senior Director of Community & Public Affairs, under the Office of the Chief Constable.
DAPS' goals are to improve the following measurable policing and public safety outcomes applicable to these populations:
- over-representation in illegal behaviours
- under-reporting of crimes
- participation in investigations and in court as victims / witnesses
- involvement in crime prevention activities
- provision of information/intelligence on criminals, crime groups and crimes
- perceptions of safety / fear
- confidence in the police
Strategies and Activities
Strategies used within the VPD to address these safety issues and cultural factors include supporting recruitment to ensure the Department has a diverse workforce. For example, the Aboriginal Cadet Program is a mentoring program for Aboriginal youth interested in becoming police officers.
The Section also works with Training and other sections to provide professional development to front line members. For example, in 2009, The Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, DAPS and the City of Vancouver collaborated on an Aboriginal Awareness pilot program. These sessions introduced VPD members and city employees to the urban aboriginal community who, at excessive levels, suffer over-victimization, criminalization and have a lack of trust in the police due to their history.
Relationships are developed with specific communities at both the personal leadership and frontline levels. Outreach is also accomplished through the local media and DAPS’ participation in community forums, workshops, and rallies.
To address specific safety issues, DAPS meets regularly with representatives from diverse communities.
The Section’s Aboriginal Liaison officer, works closely with the Aboriginal Community Policing Centre, develops front line relationships with numerous organizations and individuals in the urban Aboriginal community and works directly with Aboriginal youth.
The Eastside Aboriginal Space for Youth (E.A.S.Y.) gang prevention program has been instrumental in helping to eliminate risk factors related to criminal and gang activity for Aboriginal youth. Since the program was implemented in November 2009, E.A.S.Y. staff members have delivered support and mentoring programs to youth, including a late night resource program, outreach and recreational activities.
The E.A.S.Y. program runs Thursday through Sunday nights, making it the only program in British Columbia to work with youth during the hours in which they are most vulnerable to involvement in negative and criminal behaviour. Staff members assist youth with health and safety issues, accompany them to court, help them find safe housing, and help fulfill their basic needs.
The E.A.S.Y. Program works to build stronger relationships between youth and VPD officers. It also serves as a contact point for Vancouver police officers who are in communication with high-risk youth.
In 2008, the Diversity and Aboriginal Policing Section teamed with The Centre (since renamed QMUNITY) on the Aaron Webster Anti-Violence Project (PDF). Together, they presented five public forums that addressed chronic gay bashing, domestic violence, and under-reporting of violence against and within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer (LGBTQ) communities.
DAPS continues to work with the LGTBQ community on a new initiative entitled Stop the Violence, a public awareness campaign.
Other Community Initiaitves
Through its members' participation in the B.C. Law Enforcement Diversity Network, DAPS also connects with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and municipal law enforcement agencies to host an annual educational forum for both the police and the public. Past forum themes include Hate Crimes and Aboriginal Awareness.
Events that DAPS regularly participates in are the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade, Vasaikhi, Pride Parade, Caribbean Days, and the Pulling Together Canoe Journey, to name a few.
VPD Diversity & Aboriginal Policing Section