We are very proud to have completed our 2022 granting cycle and excited to announce we recently committed more than $1.6 million to 119 incredible community programs across Vancouver.
Through this annual grant program, individual VPD officers apply for funding to develop and manage programs and initiatives that address needs or gaps that they personally identify in the community. Once funded, many of these programs are operated on a voluntary basis on day-off and after shifts by these dedicated VPD officers, supporting thousands of individuals, including children, women & seniors.
Whether it’s supporting vulnerable or at-risk youth, fostering a culturally inclusive society, providing information on addictions and drug awareness, or using simple door locks to save victims from domestic violence, each of the programs we grant aims to reduce crime and increase public safety in Vancouver.
These programs are beyond the regular operating budget of the VPD – they are not considered essential policing and simply wouldn’t exist without the VPF and the generosity of our donors.
Today we are highlighting one fresh and unique program in each pillar. These brand new and impactful programs will launch later this year. For a list of 2022 funded programs, please click here.
You Matter – Consent Awareness
VPD’s Sex Crimes Unit receives between 500-600 sexual assault complaints every year and approximately 25% of those calls involve youth. In 2021, investigators recorded a spike in youth sexual assaults. Almost all sexual assault files revolve around the issue of consent and the impact of such a traumatic experience can be long lasting and far reaching. This brand-new consent awareness campaign will be implemented by VPD’s Special Investigation Division and include an impactful and memorable social media campaign targeted at both youth and adults. The campaign will increase awareness of issues surrounding consent: what it is, how long it lasts, can it be revoked? Based on their learnings from several youth presentations in 2021, SIS officers will create and launch an engaging campaign about ‘communicated consent’ and how it is applied in words, actions, and all the nuanced communication that happens within a relationship, whether in-person or online. This initiative represents a complex and sensitive matter and was born out of clear feedback officers recently received from youth across Vancouver.
Fentanyl Awareness Campaign
It is not secret that British Columbia remains in a state of a declared public health emergency due to the ongoing opioid crisis. With more than 2,200 overdose deaths in BC in 2021, there is still much work to be done to combat this tragic reality. Odd Squad Productions is stepping up once again to embark on a comprehensive social media campaign to build awareness surrounding drugs with a specific focus on Fentanyl. The campaign will include highly tailored and informative content – with a heavy focus on video produced by Odd Squad Productions – over a three-month period culminating during National Addictions Awareness Week – November 20-26, 2022. Partnerships with Safer Schools Together, Law Enforcement Training Association (LETA), the VPF and many others will allow the campaign to be amplified across other channels to various audiences and hopefully prevent tragic deaths and family grief.
Pop-Up Police Station
The VPD is always looking for creative and approachable ways to connect with the community. One new idea that we are super excited about is a new “Pop-Up Police Station” being to be used at a number of events around Vancouver. By retrofitting an existing VPD-owned trailer, the Pop-Up Police Station will feel approachable, safe, inclusive and welcoming to individuals in the community. It will be present and interactive at various community events, pedestrian only areas, parks, and beaches throughout the year. Many sections within the VPD will have the opportunity to utilize and deploy the Pop-Up Police Station, including the Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigenous Relation section, Recruiting Unit, Youth Section, to name just a few. Additionally, it would also be made available to the 11 VPD Community Policing Centers when hosting community events.
Domestic Violence Safety Tools
Domestic violence situations can be very emotional, unpredictable and volatile. During these moments, a simple argument can quickly turn into a violent situation where the victim needs to physically separate themselves to calm down, or they may need a safe space and the ability to call the police for assistance. Some may even need to find a way to flee the household immediately. Most homes do not have a room that is secure enough for the victim to create and maintain a safe separation. This initiative provides both an effective portable door lock that operates on a simple mechanism with no pre-instillation required and a fire and water-resistant document holder. These items will be provided at no cost to VPD Victim Services Unit clients, upon a recommendation by case workers. More than 130 of these safety locks and document holders will be distributed free of charge to Vancouver’s most vulnerable throughout the coming year.