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Over $6 Million Towards More Than 80 Innovative Programs

To date, the VPF has granted over $6 million towards more than 80 innovative policing and community crime prevention programs which are not included in the annual operating budget of the VPD. This page highlights only a few of the programs we have supported and the impact our investment is making in the community.

VPD Student Challenge Program – $60,000

The VPD Student Challenge Program is an eight-day “Youth Police Academy” for Grade 11 and 12 students that are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. Since its inception in 1997, over 500 students have graduated from the program and many have chosen law and order careers.

In 2012, 48 students were chosen to participate from several hundred applications received from Vancouver and other Lower Mainland schools. The Student Challenge is an excellent learning experience and extremely challenging both mentally and physically. The program focuses on teamwork, confidence building and teaches youth about the responsibilities when choosing a career as a police officer, while building friendships and creating lasting memories.

The success of the annual program is the result of the dedicated police members from various sections of the Department who have volunteered their time and effort, while working closely with the School Liaison Unit of the Youth Services Section. They are also in partnership with the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver School Board and the Timberline Ranch Camp. The VPF is the major funder of the program.

Between 2007 and 2012, calls for VPD service from schools that tend to educate marginalized or youth from lower-socio economic backgrounds have increased by 57% at specific schools. The “Don’t Cop Out: Youth Challenge” programming is based on studies which have shown that crime-prevention success increases when youth are matched with peer and adult mentors. Mentoring, both peer to peer and adult to youth, is a core component of the program. The ratio of youth participating in the program is 4:1 of pro-social youth with at-risk youth. This combination of students provides for peer interactions, along with the opportunity to participate in activities that promote pro-social values and the development of life skills.

Each year, a graduation ceremony is held to conclude the eight-day program. Participants are presented with a certificate recognizing their commitment and effort to the Student Challenge.

VPD Cadet Program – $892,000

“The best form of crime prevention that we can engage in is investing in our youth. From innovation to community engagement, the Vancouver Police Department is consistently among the most innovative police services in Canada. This pilot program is an example of both.”

– Premier Christy Clark

The Vancouver Police Department and the Vancouver Police Foundation, along with the provincial and municipal governments, and the Program Founding Partners, are firmly committed to giving Vancouver’s youth every possible chance for a successful and happy life. Through mentorship, we can guide young people, especially those who live in low-income neighborhoods, toward a positive future.

The success of the existing VPD Student Challenge Program has led to the creation of a new Cadet program. Commencing in September of 2014, the 24-week program will include educational workshops, physical training, and team and life skill-building exercises. Sixty (60) participants with diverse socio-economic backgrounds will be included in all levels of programming. Working with their peers and front-line police officers, the participants will learn leadership, self-discipline and a desire for personal excellence. By successfully completing the program, the youth will gain a strong sense of self-worth, which is one of the greatest gifts we can offer.

Similar Cadet programs have been very successful in several North American cities, such as the Los Angeles Police Department, so we anticipate that the number of youth will increase sequentially in year two and three. Upon graduation, cadets will become mentors for the younger participants entering into the program. A key program objective is to build a pool of future policing applicants from diverse cultural backgrounds and underrepresented communities. But regardless, the skills that the cadets learn will be of great personal value for the rest of their lives.

For the next few years, hundreds of Vancouver youth will experience a potentially life changing program that would not have been possible without the generosity from our corporate and individual donors who contributed over $532,000, along with the support from the provincial and municipal governments who contributed $180,000 each toward the program.

The program will be implemented through a partnership agreement between the Vancouver Police Department, the Vancouver Police Foundation, Community Policing Centres, the Vancouver School Board and local not-for-profit Youth Outreach Organizations.

VPD Police Athletic League (PAL) – $15,160

The VPD Police Athletic League (PAL) is a youth crime prevention initiative that uses athletic, recreational and educational programs as a tool to foster positive rapport and mutual trust between police officers and youths. As part of PAL, VPD members interact annually with thousands of Vancouver youth through school athletic outreach programs such as soccer, basketball, and floor hockey. These programs provide an opportunity for students to meet police officers, while promoting fairness, integrity, and a respect for others. In 2012, youth squad members played approximately twenty floor hockey games, interacting with well over 800 students. VPD members are committed to the program and understand the importance of encouraging positive life choices amongst youth. Many of the activities are run by VPD members who attend the events on their personal time.

In recent years, VPD members observed that children participating in these elementary school athletic programs lacked adequate jerseys for their team-based activities. Through their discussions with local elementary school principals, VPD members learned that schools greatly needed new jerseys.

With the $15,160 grant from the Vancouver Police Foundation, the VPD PAL and School Liaison Unit were able to purchase jerseys for over 600 children in 25 identified Vancouver elementary schools. This investment will create a long-lasting impact for the students. Student athletes will be able to participate in a school athletic activities with matching jerseys. This will increase their confidence and participation in sports, develop positive peer interactions and connection to their community as a whole. Each jersey has specific school colours, allowing the students to wear it with pride while representing their school at various events throughout the year.

By having the VPD members attending the games and joining the students, we create opportunities for inner city youth to interact with VPD officers as positive role models. These interactions further serve to promote a positive and healthy relationship between the police and the student community.

Vancouver Police Mobile Command Centre (MCC) – $500,000

The men and women of the Vancouver Police Department have long been committed to going “Beyond the Call” to ensure the welfare and safety of Vancouver Citizens.

The Vancouver Police Mobile Command Centre (MCC) will be a valuable resource, helping the VPD coordinate effective deployment, tactical support, search operations and communication needs, and add extra protection for the citizens of Vancouver and members of the VPD at the most crucial of times. This flagship vehicle will also augment the City’s emergency management, fire and medical services response capabilities. In the event of a civil emergency requiring multi-agency responses, the MCC can be used to help coordinate police efforts with other agencies and provide direct communications. Ultimately the MCC will save lives.

The purchase of the VPD Mobile Command Centre was made possible through the generous support of the Vancouver Police Foundation members and donors, and was funded in part by a $500,000 grant from the Vancouver Police Foundation.

Pulling Together Aboriginal Canoe Journey – $50,900

Chi Miigwech (Thank You) – Pulling Together Aboriginal Canoe Journey is an annual event where B.C. law enforcement personnel paddle alongside Aboriginal youth in traditional canoes, while visiting Aboriginal communities and celebrating their cultural heritage. Since 1997, over 500 Aboriginal youth from around British Columbia have participated in the event.

Every year, the Vancouver Police Officers, many of Aboriginal heritage themselves, partner with local Aboriginal community organizations, and participate in the Journey with youth who experience the risk factors that have been for so long attributed to this community – crime, negative contact with police, substance abuse, poverty, trauma, unemployment and lack of any positive role models in their lives. The Journey provides opportunities for Aboriginal youth to take part in traditional protocols and utilize their leadership skills to positively influence their peers and meaningfully engage in activities.

Funding from the Vancouver Police Foundation provides VPD members participating in the event with the capacity to deliver a multi-level mentorship opportunity, affirm the VPD’s commitment to supporting meaningful experiences for Aboriginal youth, and strengthen the relationship between youth and VPD officers as they participate together in this program.

The Pulling Together Journey has seen youth who have been entrenched in at-risk behaviours turn around and become VPD and RCMP officers, Oceans and Fisheries Government employees, high school and university graduates and contributing members of our society. The long-term impact of the Journey could be found in the heartfelt messages received by the Vancouver Police Department and the Vancouver Police Foundation from Aboriginal Youth that participated in the Journey. Participants spoke about being grateful for the opportunity to learn about their culture, appreciation of the VPD and VPF’s continual support of the Journey program that is developing their communities in a positive way, and the event being a life-changing experience.

Armoured Response Vehicle (ARV) – $252,000

A recent story involving the ARV:

At 20:36 hours, police were called by a man stating that his brother is mentally ill and he threatened to kill him. The subject was reported to have firearms in the residence. Patrol attended the call and approached the residence. The subject closed the door as the members were approaching. Patrol members contained the residence and the Emergency Response Team was contacted. ERT responded and used the Armoured Response Vehicle (ARV) to prevent the subject’s vehicle, parked in front of the residence, from being moved.

Negotiators attempted to make contact by phone with no response from the subject. The negotiator then used the PA system from the ARV with no response from the subject. ERT deployed tactics in incremental steps to garner the subject’s attention inside the residence. The subject came to the door agitated but he refused to exit the residence.

Mental Health Professional Dr. Mackoff was consulted and ERT deployed rubber projectiles to the door followed by scripted commands that were suggested by Dr. Mackoff. There was no response for approximately one hour.

ERT then deployed a rubber projectile through the living room window followed by a noise flash distraction device and negotiator commands. There was no response.

ERT then drove the ARV right up to the living room window and began negotiating. The ARV provided a level view into the living room. ERT was about to deploy a robot when the suspect opened the front door. He was ranting and went back in to the living room area. The ARV members could see him inside on the couch and the front door was open. Using the cover of the ARV, ERT entered and arrested the subject, arresting him on the couch at 01:05 hrs. Several firearms were located in the residence as well as multiple crossbows and air soft guns.

Vancouver Police Soccer and Service Club (VPSSC) – $20,000

“Thank you for the opportunity for my son to participate in the program. Not only did the boys love the soccer skills and games, they also loved the opportunity to see all the facets of the Vancouver Police Force which created a lasting impression and inspiration!”

– Participant’s Parent

Since 1990, the Vancouver Police Soccer and Service Club (VPSSC) organizes an annual four-day soccer school program, free of charge, for 5-9 year olds from various inner-city elementary schools in Vancouver, along with a soccer tournament for Vancouver high school students. The VPSSC members consist of Vancouver Police officers who volunteer countless hours to ensure the continual success of the soccer school program. The program encourages leadership and teamwork, while building lasting relationships through the game of soccer.

Throughout the year, VPSSC hosts soccer school programs, such as the Paul Sanghera Memorial High School Soccer Tournament, where Vancouver schools play against each other and a VPSSC team. The tournament is held annually in memory and honour of a Vancouver Police officer, Cst. Paul Sanghera, who was killed in line of duty and was an avid athlete who enjoyed the game of soccer.

The tournament emphasizes sportsmanship and education and to date, the event has raised over $70,000 for tournament participants. The positive experiences from the soccer school have led to thousands of children and youth graduating from the program and many returning to assist as coaches. One of the greatest rewards of the tournament is the long-lasting and positive relationships that are established between the Vancouver Police Members and Vancouver’s youth and inner city children.

KidSafe VPF Arts Connect Summer Program – $40,000

“Building healthy and prosperous communities requires ensuring our youngest citizens feel like they have options. By providing these types of opportunities for young people to engage with the world around them and express their understanding of the world, we can ensure that we are increasing their ability to succeed in life, whatever their challenges and goals may be.”

– Executive Director Gerhard Maynard

Since 1993, KidSafe has been providing recreational activities for Vancouver’s most vulnerable inner-city children and youth during school closures. They provide over 25,000 hours of programming free of charge annually, to children who would otherwise not have access to the programs.

The VPF Arts Connect Summer Program was a three-week Summer Program for 250 vulnerable youth and children. Vancouver Police Department members had the opportunity to join in on co-led daily developmental art programs, where they were able to work with the children and youth to build relationships and provide positive support through role modeling.

With the support from the VPF and participation of the VPD, the KidSafe VPF Arts Connect Summer Program assisted KidSafe in working towards achieving their visions where all children live in a safe community with the inspiration and support they deserve to become healthy, contributing citizens.


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