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FAQs

FAQs2022-03-17T00:28:52-07:00
Q: What’s the difference between the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and the Vancouver Police Board (VPB)?2022-01-30T20:03:58-08:00

The Board is the governing body of the Vancouver Police Department and the employer of all sworn and civilian staff. As an autonomous authority, the Board is independent from both the VPD and the City of Vancouver.

The Board is responsible for governance and oversight, whereas the VPD is responsible for policing operations.

Q: What are the role and core responsibilities of the Board?2022-01-30T20:03:49-08:00

The Vancouver Police Board is made up of citizens with strong ties to the community it serves. As a neutral civilian accountability mechanism to oversee policing, police boards work to ensure that there is a high standard of policing and that the interaction between police and community is fair and responsive.

Police boards in British Columbia perform four main governance functions:

  1. Employer of all sworn and civilian members of the department;
  2. Provide financial oversight for the department;
  3. Establish policies that set the direction for the department; and
  4. Act as the authority for policy and service complaints.

More information on the role of the Board can be found in the BC Police Board Handbook.

Q: What is the role of the Chair?2022-04-01T02:35:22-07:00

The Mayor is an ex-officio member of the Board, acting as Chair, and a neutral conduit of information between the City of Vancouver and the VPD.

The Mayor, as Chair, only votes in the event of a tie.

For more information, please visit the Chair Terms of Reference.

Q: How do I make a complaint against a Vancouver Police Officer?2022-01-30T20:03:36-08:00

Complaints about individual officers can be submitted to the VPD, the Board office, or directly to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (www.opcc.bc.ca).

Individual conduct complaints are under the jurisdiction of the OPCC, while the Board is responsible for processing service or policy complaints.

Q: What kinds of complaints does the Vancouver Police Board handle?2022-04-01T02:37:29-07:00

The Board is responsible for taking action in response to complaints made about the services or policies of the Vancouver Police Department. You can learn more about service or policy complaints here.

It is important to understand that the Board does not have authority to oversee complaints about the actions of individual police officers (called conduct complaints). You can find more information about conduct complaints on the VPD’s website.

Q: I made a policy complaint to the VPB and am not happy with the decision. What happens now?2022-01-30T20:01:54-08:00

If a complainant is dissatisfied with the actions taken by the Board to resolve a service or policy complaint, they may ask the Police Complaint Commissioner to review the Board’s decision. Complainants have 20 business days from the receipt of the Board’s concluding correspondence to request a review.

Q: I saw an officer behaving poorly. Can I complain to the Police Board?2022-04-01T02:38:09-07:00

Although conduct complaints are not within the jurisdiction of the Board to review and resolve, you can email your complaint to: office@vancouvpoliceboard.ca and a staff member will ensure that it gets submitted to the OPCC on your behalf.

The most direct means of submitting a complaint about an officer would be through the OPCC:  www.opcc.bc.ca

Q: Who pays the salaries for the VPB?2022-04-01T02:39:12-07:00

Board directors do not receive a salary, and instead receive per diems. This is not designed to compensate a Board director for actual hours worked, but is rather a stipend to cover out-of-pocket and incidental expenses in the course of carrying out their duties. The Mayor, as Chair, is not eligible to receive a per diem.

Employees of the Board office receive a salary, and both this and the Board Director per diems are paid out of the Vancouver Police Department’s overall budget.

Please click here to review the per diem policy.

Q: Who appoints directors to the Vancouver Police Board?2022-01-30T20:03:13-08:00

The Mayor of Vancouver is the Chair of the Board, one Board director is appointed by City Council, and up to seven people are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Q: How do I apply to become a Vancouver Police Board director?2022-04-01T02:41:18-07:00

Board directors are chosen to reflect the demographics of the community and are individuals who have demonstrated that they can act in the community’s best interest. Each Board director is appointed for a term of up to four years. They may be reappointed but cannot serve for more than six consecutive years.

For more information, please visit our Becoming a Board Director page.

You can find further information about the appointment process from the Provincial Government’s website. You can also find information on the Province’s Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office webpage.

The directors of the Vancouver Police Board, municipal government and local community can all submit candidates for Board membership.

If you are a resident of Vancouver and are interested in serving your community as a director of the Vancouver Police Board and have questions or would like more details about the role, we encourage you to reach out to the Executive Director for more information.

Q: How many staff work at the VPB office?2022-01-30T20:03:02-08:00

There is one full-time Executive Director and one Executive Assistant to the Executive Director.

Q: Who can I speak with at the VPB for more information?2022-01-30T20:00:39-08:00

Any requests for information can be sent to the Executive Director.

Q. How can I speak to the Board?2022-04-01T02:46:28-07:00

To speak to the Board, you may register as a delegation. Delegations speak at the public Board meetings, and speaking time is limited to a maximum of five minutes. Written submissions and further information for the Board can be filed with the Board office.

To ensure meaningful and effective use of the delegation time, there is a policy in place that outlines appropriate speaking topics. For more information, please visit our Delegation Policy.

Q: I want to make a Freedom of Information request. How do I do that?2022-04-01T02:44:44-07:00

You can find information on making a Freedom of Information request here.

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