Improving police services and public safety continues to be a priority for both the City and the community we serve. As our city continues to grow, we are looking ahead to what it will take to meet the future demand for sufficient public safety services. To that end, in early January we began inviting community members to apply for a position on the City’s newly formed Police Community Advisory Committee. This committee will play a crucial role in advising my office on issues related to police services in Vancouver.
Just over 100 applicants responded and the application window is now closed. I want to thank all who took the time to apply. I am now in the process of reviewing the applications and selecting committee members, and plan to appoint them this month. The committee will include up to 13 community members, including three members of the Vancouver City Council.
We plan to hold six initial meetings between February and June, followed by monthly or quarterly meetings, depending on committee preferences. Committee members will:
Help identify community safety needs and gaps in police services
Identify outcomes and impacts that are meaningful to the community
Make recommendations on new funding for investments in staffing, technology or facilities
Support transparency and accountability during implementation
Create space for future conversations about police services
Launching this new committee builds on past work to involve our community members in helping shape the Vancouver Police Department in the context of the entire public safety ecosystem. Committee members will also assist in directing potential future investments in police services.
The Police Community Advisory Committee is the latest of the City’s recent efforts to improve police services. Since 2019, the department has implemented 84 recommendations identified by the Police Executive Research Forum to help improve Vancouver Police Department (VPD) culture, policies and practices around the use of force. These improvements include implementing a body camera and vehicle camera program in 2023.
I’m looking forward to working with the committee and learning more about how they feel we can make our City a model for public safety practices and outcomes.