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Diversity & Indigenous Relations Section : Citizens' Police Academy | FAQs

Cst. Rick Lavalee

Diversity & Indigenous Relations Section

Partnering with our community
for excellence and innovation in public safety

The Diversity & Indigenous Relations Section seeks to engage with the community we serve and our partner agencies to improve public safety and to address victimization motivated by bias, prejudice, and hate. This section develops and implements community-based initiatives and programs to build relationships with Vancouver’s diverse communities.

Section Goals

The Diversity & Indigenous Relations Section implements public safety initiatives to address the following issues:

  • create innovative programming that supports diversity in communities
  • develop community partnerships that focus on public safety concerns
  • address victimization and investigate incidents motivated by bias, prejudice, and hate
  • strengthen relationships with Indigenous people
  • build trust with LGTBQ2S+ communities
  • increase newcomers' confidence in the police
  • enhance departmental cultural awareness

Indigenous Community

The VPD Indigenous Liaison Officer and the VPD Indigenous Community Policing Centre Officer work closely with the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre and other agencies to develop relationships and engage the community in proactive crime prevention initiatives.

The Diversity & Indigenous Relations Section conducts outreach through multiple programs in an attempt to reach and engage vulnerable Indigenous populations. These programs include the SisterWatch Committee, Access Recreation and Culture Youth Program (ARC), and the Pulling Together Canoe Journey.

In partnership with the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS), the Vancouver Police Department recruits Indigenous Cadets for a three-month work experience project each summer. Applicants are Indigenous youth who are college or university students and interested in becoming police officers.

LGBTQ2S+ Community

The VPD LGBTQ2S+ Liaison Officer works with community agencies to improve the safety of LGBTQ2S+ people. As a result of these working relationships, the VPD implemented a new policy for officers interacting with transgender individuals and produced a related training video, "Walk With Me," for police educational purposes.

In 2016, the Safe Place program was implemented to increase feelings of safety in the LGBTQ2S+ community. This ongoing initiative involves outreach to local businesses and institutions to provide them with Safe Place window decals they can display at their premises.

VPD Safe Place
VPD Safe Place

Hate Crimes

The Hate Crimes investigator works with patrol officers and other investigative units to address hate crimes. The investigator develops and delivers training to police officers, liaises with community members, and develop hate crime prevention programs.

The investigator monitors bias-, prejudice- and hate-motivated offences, and provides relevant expertise regarding evidence and legal provisions. They specialize in the significance of specific symbols, markings, or language, and can provide expert evidence in court.

The Hate Crimes investigator reviews cases in relation to section 718.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada and makes recommendations regarding bias, prejudice, or hate towards the victim based on colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, or any similar factor.

Community Engagement and Education

The Diversity Liaison Officer conducts outreach to various communities, which includes weekly meetings and educational programs at the Immigrant Services Society of BC, youth engagement through the New Kids program, and community education through the Citizens' Police Academy.

The Diversity & Indigenous Relations Section participates in the BC Law Enforcement Diversity Network, liaising with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and municipal police detachments to host an annual diversity educational forum for law enforcement professionals

The Section participates in numerous community events and occasions throughout the year. These include the Chinese New Year Parade, Women’s Memorial March, Vaisakhi Parade, Pulling Together Canoe Journey, Pride Parade, Walk for Reconciliation, and National Aboriginal Veterans Day.

vancouver police thunderbird

VPD Diversity & Indigenous Relations Section

 

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Questions?

If you have questions about the Diversity & Indigenous Relations Section, check out our FAQ page.

Contact the VPD's Diversity & Indigenous Relations Section

(604) 717-2763

vpd.diversity@vpd.ca

Social Media

Twitter

Constable Dale Quiring
@Dale2075

Programs

Lunch with the Chief

Since 2014, Lunch with the Chief has been held four times per year, with upwards of 100 community members attending each luncheon.

Downtown Eastside residents can receive information, socialize, and share stories with front line officers and senior members of the VPD Executive.

The initiative is funded by the Vancouver Police Foundation, and is in partnership with the Carnegie Centre Society.

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