The City of Vancouver completed the largest annexation in Washington State history with the annexation of east Vancouver on January 1, 1997. The population of our city nearly doubled, going from 67,450 people to 127,900, and established Vancouver as the fourth largest city in Washington State. Vancouver's population continues to grow and as of 2013 over 165,000 citizens call the City of Vancouver home.
With the 1997 annexation came a directive to implement community oriented policing as a way to better serve our increasing population and geographic service area. Prior to the annexation the Vancouver Police operated out of one central location. With the doubling of population to be served and the increased service area the VPD established precincts. Currently officers work out of two precincts. West precinct is located at 2800 NE Stapleton Road, and East Precinct is located at 520 SE 155th Avenue. In 1999 the VPD Office of the Chief, administrative, and logistics personnel moved to the VPD Administration building at 605 E Evergreen Boulevard.
The Office of the Chief includes Chief James McElvain, Assistant Chief Chris Sutter and Assistant Chief Mike Lester.
Over the years the City of Vancouver population has grown to over 165,000 and counting and the department's authorized staffing has been reduced. Currently, the Vancouver Police Department is authorized for 189 sworn staff and 21.5 civilian support staff.
The Vancouver Police Department serves approximately 50 square miles, divided into 2 Precincts which are further divided into 2 Districts per Precinct. Each District is then divided into Beats which individual Patrol Officers are responsible for handling calls for service within. Sounds complicated but is actually a very efficient way for officers to become familiar with the areas they work in.
Court is conducted at the Clark County Courthouse, 1200 Franklin Street. The City Attorney's Office, located in City Hall at 415 W 6th Street, prosecutes misdemeanors while the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, located in the Courthouse, prosecutes felonies and juveniles. A separate Domestic Violence Prosecution Center prosecutes domestic violence crimes. The Juvenile Detention Hall (JDH), which provides juvenile court and detention, is located at 500 W 11th Street. The Records Division is located in the Clark County Sheriff's Office Headquarters at 707 W 13th Street.
Other police departments working in Vancouver are the Veterans Affairs Police Department, the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Please visit the Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main St., for additional information about Vancouver's history. Also, please visit the Public Safety Memorial in front of the Clark County Courthouse.