Grants season is upon us and what an exciting time it is for the Foundation! The VPF awards grants for innovative projects and special equipment that falls outside of VPD’s regular operating budget. These ideas are developed and applied for by members of the VPD, who regularly stay after shift or come in on days off to run these programs. They have a unique perspective on the needs our community faces, given that they are in all the city’s neighbourhoods every day of the year.
The amount of funding varies from year to year and is dependent on the Foundation’s fundraising activities and returns on investments. In 2018, the Foundation committed to nearly $600,000 for 48 grants.
The Vancouver Police Foundation funds grants and supports programs and initiatives in four key areas. Below are some of the great and innovative programs from our past grant recipients:
Community Outreach: Programs that present innovative community engagement strategies and foster positive interactions between the VPD and the community.
In 2015, the Foundation provided seed funding to bring Project 529 to Vancouver. Project 529 is focused on combating and reducing bike theft in the city by creating a bike registration system and decals which visually indicate that a bike is registered within this VPD program.
Youth Programs: Projects and initiatives that assist children and youth in an effort to prevent or reduce crime and offer mentorship and relationship-building opportunities.
NewKids VPD Youth Police Academy
In 2016, the NewKids program was designed and implemented as a way in which new immigrant and refugee youth could develop a new sense of identity and belonging in Canada. The integration process faced by new immigrant youth and their families can have both positive and negative effects, including potential involvement in crime. The program focuses on education and awareness through ongoing mentorship, self-empowerment and community leadership development, while having fun and engaging experiences along the way.
Technology and Special Equipment: Technology and special equipment that benefit the community by improving police practices and enhancing VPD’s ability to prevent crime, assist in police investigations and ensure heightened security for members themselves.
Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) for the VPD Emergency Response Team (ERT)
In 2015, the VPD Emergency Response Team (ERT) requested funds to develop a Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) program. In the past, ERT relied on medical aid from paramedics but due to the response time, this became a challenge where time delays can be critical to survival.
The TEMS program includes specialized equipment such as tactical medical kits and tactical medical training for members. As a result from the Vancouver Police Foundation, the TEMS program has given ERT members the ability to save their own lives, as well as the lives of patrol members in situations where paramedics and other first responders are unable to attend due to an actively dangerous or volatile situation.
Mental Health and Addictions: Programs and initiatives that address the challenges of individuals living with mental illness and substance abuse, and assist in ensuring the safety of themselves and others.
VPD Illicit Drug Presentation Kit
In 2017, the Foundation funded two Illicit Drug Presentation Kits that are currently maintained by the VPD and used by members as an aid when presenting drug topics to groups for educational purposes. The kits contain real samples of illicit drugs including cocaine, heroin, meth, MDMA, etc. Upgrades to the current drug kit packaging was needed in light of current extreme drug trends (Fentanyl) and sensitive handling procedures.
Stay tuned in June for the announcement of our 2019 Grants!