June 11, 2020
As a Board, we collectively believe in the inherent dignity of every person, and are committed to our mission of providing independent civilian oversight, governance and strategic leadership to the VPD in order to reflect the needs, values, and diversity of Vancouver’s communities.
Should the Province of BC choose to initiate a province-wide review of policing in B.C in response to Mayor Kennedy Stewart’s call to action, the Vancouver Police Board and the VPD will fully co-operate and assist in every way.
The VPD is amongst the most diverse police departments in Canada. We are proud of the rich diversity of our sworn and civilian members.
The VPD continues to take progressive steps towards addressing the injustices and systemic racism that exists in our City. As a Board we are dedicated to continuing to build an organization that not only reflects the community it serves, but is an integral part of the community. We hear the voices and concerns of our communities and acknowledge the horrific discrimination that too many members of our society have faced for too long. These patterns must be broken, and there is more work to be done as a society towards implementing positive change.
Vancouver Police Board Vice-Chair and Finance Committee Chair Barj Dhahan issued the following statement regarding the policing budget:
The Finance Committee diligently oversees all aspects of the Vancouver Police Budget. While we acknowledge that increased demands for service on the Vancouver Police Department have resulted in increased policing costs in recent years, we also acknowledge the significant impacts Covid-19 has had on the City of Vancouver’s own budget, prompting Council to request a 1% 2020 VPD budget reduction.
Although a target reduction is not prudent or viable, we are currently reviewing where costs savings might be found. As outlined in our April 27 letter to Council, the Vancouver Police Board has directed the VPD to maximize potential savings through reduced spending on facilities, equipment, fleet replacement, information technology, uniform replacements, and maintenance. Other areas for reduced expenditure include, but are not limited to: salary savings due to temporary closures at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), savings due to the reduction of travel and training, and decreases to overtime spend due to a decline in major events and entertainment district callouts, as well as court closures. The Vancouver Police Board remains dedicated to maximizing the size of its 2020 budget savings where possible, in support of the City of Vancouver’s ongoing budget mitigation measures.