Victoria, BC – The past few weeks have been very challenging for many members of our communities, in particular black people, Indigenous people and people of colour. The conversations and sharing of stories that have begun to happen in our communities is very powerful. This sharing and learning presents an opportunity for the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board and the Victoria Police Department to take a look at some of our current processes and practices and to look for ways to improve.
This is an opportunity for the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board and the Victoria Police Department to engage in the difficult and uncomfortable conversations that are necessary in order to learn what we need to do to ensure that all members of our community feel safe, everywhere, at all times.
That’s why, at our meeting last evening, the Board unanimously adopted the following motions. We will begin by listening to the community.
- Request that the Chair and/or citizen members of the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee present to the Board within six months and on a quarterly basis thereafter in public Police Board meetings with their ideas and recommendations for improvements at the Victoria Police Department.
- That the Board request the Chief to present at the public Board meeting as early as practical a comprehensive list of the bias awareness, anti-racism, cultural sensitivity and de-escalation training that members of the Victoria Police Department currently receive and his recommendations for additional training and awareness raising opportunities.
- That a demographic analysis of the Victoria Police Department be undertaken in order to understand how the composition of VicPD in terms of black, Indigenous, people of colour and women measures against the composition of the general population. This will give us a baseline and show us where there is room for focus in recruiting.
- That the Chief make any other recommendations to the Board for its consideration to address racism and discrimination.
The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board will work hard on these important community issues and will keep the public up to date on progress at our monthly Board meetings.