June 30, 2021
Faye Wightman, Vice-Chair and Board Spokesperson:
As a follow-up to its statement of June 18, 2021, the Board has passed the “Vancouver Police Board Resolution on Structural Racism.” Comments below are from Board Spokesperson and Vice-Chair Faye Wightman:
“In support of the long-term efforts within the Vancouver Police Board (VPB) and the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) in addressing structural racism at the VPD, the VPB has passed a ‘Resolution on Structural Racism’.
The VPB has a long history of working to address systemic racism, and in engaging with the VPD leadership team on this important topic. We know that we must continue with our joint commitment to address systemic racism and to increase diversity at VPD. This is an ongoing effort and there is still much work to be done; this Resolution is the next step forward in this area.”
Vancouver Police Board’s Resolution on Structural Racism
BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE VANCOUVER POLICE BOARD:
- Not oppose the Union of BC Indian Chiefs application to intervene in Maxwell Johnson’s BC human rights case against the VPD.
- Recognize that the Vancouver Police Department has taken many positive steps to combat racism and increase diversity in the Department, and while the Board knows that the Department’s officers and civilian employees strive every day to treat people according to our values, like all police services, the Department is built on a foundation of structural racism and colonization.
- Recognize that the Board and the VPD have a responsibility to ensure that the essential work of anti-racism and decolonization within our processes remain on the forefront of our priorities.
- Recognize that the Board must show leadership on systemic racism.
- Engage an external consultant to advise the Board on how to apply an anti-racism and decolonization lens to the Board and the Department and advise the Board on concrete actions that might be taken in this regard, including but not limited to the potential creation of an Anti-Racism and Decolonization Committee of the Board to, along with the Department’s existing community and advisory committees, identify systemic barriers to accessing police programs and services and to assist the Board and Department in developing its anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion strategy, consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Continue to work with the VPD, City of Vancouver and the Province of BC on police reform and reviewing and improving the effectiveness of police governance bodies.
- Continue to urge the City of Vancouver and the Province of BC to dedicate more resources to social agencies so responses to people in crisis can be shifted away from policing.
- Include anti-racism and decolonization as one of the strategic imperatives in the Board’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, which is currently being developed.
- Direct the Department to include anti-racism and decolonization as one of the strategic imperatives in the Department’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, which is currently being developed.