In the past decade or more, there has been a strong societal shift that has put a spotlight on the value of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in all aspects of our lives – and this includes at the Vancouver Police Board (the Board). We know that EDI is essential to the workings of our Board and that it is important to the civilian and sworn members of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), the Board staff and directors, and to the people of Vancouver.
Both the Board and the VPD are reviewing EDI in our respective areas of responsibility. Many might not know that the VPD is widely recognized as a leading community-engaged and diverse police department in North America. As a Board, we have worked with the VPD to deliver innovative programs to increase awareness of Vancouver’s diverse population and to eliminate discrimination. While we know that there is much to do, we are also proud of the work done to date. The Board also continues to receive quarterly updates on the VPD’s EDI review of their policy. This is publicly reported and can be found here.
As a Board, we are working to understand what we can do better in this area. As a part of our review, we have engaged a team of EDI consultants and are currently in the review, learning and discussion stage of our process. The consultants have interviewed the Board directors, Chair and Executive Director. They have also hosted a workshop for the Board that covered important topics such as the meaning of EDI, creating a common understanding, recognizing implicit bias, Truth and Reconciliation, and how to apply what we learned to our areas of focus and priority. This is a time of great learning for us as board directors, as people, and as residents of Vancouver.
The consultants have also undertaken a document review and are currently conducting an environmental scan of other relevant Boards in Canada so that we can better understand where we are as an organization in relation to what other Boards are putting in place regarding EDI and what we need to do, going forward. At the end of our EDI review, the consultants will make recommendations to us. When we receive them, we will update the community on our work at one of our public meetings and will remain open to any input from the people of Vancouver on additional steps, moving forward.
We know that what is being done at the VPD and at the Board is not enough for many. We understand that there are concerns and frustrations in the community about this critical area – and we want to clearly state that EDI is a priority for the VPD and for the Board. We are committed to learning, doing better, and continuing to improve to effectively, respectfully and authentically reflect the community we serve. We know that it is important to do this in a productive and respectful way that allows for lasting change. More updates will be provided at our meetings and here on our blog.
As always, please feel free to send any comments or input to: email@example.com.