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Deputy Chief Constable STEVE RAI, O.O.M.

Deputy Chief Constable Steve RaiDeputy Chief Constable Steve Rai was born in Punjab, India, and immigrated to Vancouver with his family at a young age. Prior to joining the Vancouver Police Department, he served with the Canadian Forces Reserves while also completing his bachelor of arts degree in Asian studies at the University of British Columbia. He then went on to further his education with a master of arts in criminal justice from the University of the Fraser Valley.

Deputy Chief Rai began his career with the VPD in 1990, working for eight years as a frontline patrol constable in District 3, with duties that included field training and mentoring new police officers. He also drew on his cultural background to work extensively, at the street level, with the District's ethnically diverse communities.

Deputy Chief Rai also completed assignments in Court and Detention Services, as a Recruiting Unit investigator, and a secondment to the former Coordinated Law Enforcement Unit. He completed a second operational tour in District 1 as the community police officer where he managed the Davie Street Community Policing Office. This position required collaboration with local community leaders, business owners, and volunteers to address neighbourhood crime and disorder issues.

In addition to his regular operational duties, Deputy Chief Rai completed a number of concurrent assignments, including ten years as an Emergency Response Team crisis negotiator, six years with the VPD's Critical Incident Stress Management Team, and three years with the Forensic Interview Team, utilizing his Punjabi second language skills.

Deputy Chief Rai promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2003, where he returned to District 3. As an operational supervisor, Deputy Chief Rai oversaw a team of ten constables, dealing with a multitude of critical incidents and complex investigations. In 2004, he transferred to the position of sergeant-in-charge of the VPD Recruiting Unit. During this assignment, he led a highly motivated team of investigators in fulfilling the Department’s mandate of hiring a large number of police officers, jail guards and traffic authority members. His team was successful in attracting numerous new exempt police officer applicants while also increasing the number of Indigenous, ethnic, and female recruits, through innovative community outreach and mentoring of young future officers.

Following his position in the Recruiting Unit, Deputy Chief Rai returned to the Operations Division, this time in District 2, an area that media outlets at the time dubbed "the poorest postal code in Canada." Deputy Chief Rai managed a team of constables dealing with unique sets of problems including extreme poverty and serious drug addiction in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

Deputy Chief Rai joined the VPD Senior Management Team upon his promotion to the rank of inspector in 2007, where he took on the role of Executive Officer in the Chief Constable's Office. In 2008, his next assignment was as the Operational Duty Officer, where he was responsible for critical incident management. In 2009, Deputy Chief Rai returned to the Training and Recruiting Section during a high-pressure time -- the section successfully hired a large number of officers in preparation for the 2010 Olympics while increasing the diversity of the department, earning a Chief Constable’s Citation for their feat.

In 2009, Deputy Chief Rai also became a certified Bronze, Silver, and Gold Public Order Commander, where he effectively led the response to a number of high-profile and protracted public order protests and demonstrations. He was a Vancouver Departmental Operations Centre Commander for the 2010 Winter Olympics, the North Commander during the 2011 Stanley Cup Riots, and the Incident Commander for Occupy Vancouver.

After the 2010 Olympics, Deputy Chief Rai transferred to become the Director in charge of the Human Resources Section, where he led a strong team of senior sergeants, exempt managers, and civilian professionals in meeting the challenging needs of VPD's diverse workforce. Deputy Rai also initiated and led the formation of the Employee Wellness Program, delivering a positive effect on employee retention and later contributing to the VPD being named one of British Columbia’s Top Employers.

In 2012, Deputy Chief Rai returned to the Operations Division as the District 3 Commander, where he oversaw 200 police officers and was responsible for all crime-fighting approaches and community partnerships. Under the command of Deputy Chief Rai, targeted programs were implemented to address crime trends including focused bicycle and foot patrols in designated areas without impacting regular service efficiencies. Under his command, overall District 3 crime dropped by 21% and the violent crime rate decreased by 17%.

In July 2014, Deputy Chief Rai promoted to superintendent in Personnel Services, where he oversaw all sworn and civilian employee matters, including managing union issues, employee support, promotions, training standards, and discipline under the BC Police Act. As superintendent, Deputy Chief Rai stabilized some of the most contentious Professional Standards files in recent VPD history, while strengthening cooperative relationships with union partners, the Office of the Police Complaints Commission, community groups, and individuals. His actions led to the near-total replacement of formal grievance proceedings by informal resolutions that exemplify responsiveness, consistency, fairness, and unbiased decision-making.

In June 2015, he promoted to Deputy Chief Constable of Support Services Division. In his current role, Deputy Chief Rai oversees the strategic management and coordination of all Support Services sub-divisions, including Financial Services, Personnel Services, and Information Services.

Deputy Chief Rai is responsible for the management of VPD's annual budget of $312 million (2020). He has successfully led multiple rounds of collective bargaining and obtained more than 170 additional staff for the VPD in the 2017 Operational Review. Under his command, the VPD has continued to be a leader in law enforcement information technology and has implemented innovative employee health and wellness programs to support all VPD employees.

Deputy Chief Rai continues to expand his executive leadership skills. In 2006, he was the only Canadian police officer accepted for the US State Department’s International Leadership Development Program, which brought together police leaders from throughout the world. He is a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute Leadership Program and the Major City Chiefs Association Police Executive Leadership Program. Throughout his career, he has been involved in many different committees in support of the law enforcement profession. In 2018, Deputy Chief Rai was elected as the President of the British Columbia Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police, an organization representing all municipal police departments in the province, which oversees emerging issues related to municipal policing. Deputy Chief Rai also serves as a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Ethics Committee and was one of the founding members of the Canadian Armed Forces Advisory Council on Diversity, where he shared his expertise in recruiting for diversity into the Canadian military.

Deputy Chief Rai is the recipient of a Chief Constable's Commendation for "courage and professionalism," two Chief Constable Unit Citations, and a Police Exemplary Service Medal. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Khalsa Diwan Society Exemplary Community Service Award and appointed to the Member of Merit of the Police Forces in May 2016, and promoted to the Order of Merit in May 2020. The Order of Merit is "a fellowship of honour recognizing the highest qualities of citizenship, service to Canada, to the police community and to humanity at large."

Support Services Division

DCC Rai leads the VPD's Support Services Division.

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Deputy Chief Constable Rai

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