Community Outreach & Engagement
Volunteer Recognition Day – 2 Year Grant
This is an annual event that started in 2013, originally held in April in relation to the National Volunteer Week in Canada. The Community Policing Services Unity (CPSU) utilizes this opportunity to recognize the hundreds of volunteers who give their time to the different groups that work with the VPD, including the 10 Community Policing Centres in the City of Vancouver, the hundreds of Block Watch volunteers, the Vancouver Police Foundation's volunteers, the Citizen's Crime Watch Volunteers, and the Vector volunteers, all of whom have contributed toward making Vancouver Canada’s Safest Major City. This is an opportunity for the VPD and VPF to appreciate the volunteers with an event held solely for them. This is a 2 year grant for $5,000 per year.
The Shoebox Project
During the holiday season, the Shoebox Project delivers gifts for women in need to shelters and support agencies. This project aims to help women who have been displaced from their homes and estranged from their families. Each box will contained approximately $50 worth of items to help women feel special, beautiful, and valued. The intended impacted of this program is to remind the recipients that they have not been forgotten and to help reduce the feelings of isolation and loneliness that can come with living in a shelter.
Women In Blue
Carolyn Daley is the VPD’s first ever Deputy Chief Constable. She has dedicated the last several years to writing a book dedicated to the women who have served with the VPD. It is the first known record of the 123 women who were sworn in to the Department between 1904-1975. Carolyn has connected with each of the women still living in order to document their stories and career information. Women in Blue is intended to introduce and recognized women who, despite their less than positive welcome into the world of male-dominated law enforcement pushed back and stepped up to prove their competence and ability to do the job.
Criminal Intelligence Unit Educational Project
This grant will allow the Criminal Intelligence Unit to produce a short series of videos, social content, and infographics to educate the public and bring awareness surrounding suspicious behaviour of persons whom they may encounter in the daily course of their business.
Community Policing Mascot
The West End-Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre (CPC) has purchased a customized mascot costume to engage with the community. Having a mascot costume will allow the CPC to use it at numerous events throughout the city. This CPC attends approximately 100 community outreach events every year engaging the community we serve, and the mascot will allow them to reach out to children, and offer a friendly face to the CPC.
Pulling Together Canoe Journey – 3 Year Grant
The Pulling Together Canoe Journey is a powerful relationship-building initiative between various cultures and government agencies, including police departments throughout the Lower Mainland. Since its inception, it has seen more than 500 Indigenous peoples, youth and law enforcement members paddle through the indigenous waters of British Columbia. The VPD has been participating in the program since 2001, and the VPF have been supporting it since 2015. This is a 3 year grant for $12,273 per year.
International Association of Women in Policing
The 2019 International Association of Women in Policing conference will be held in Anchorage, Alaska and is themed: Mentoring the Next Generation. This conference will support the professional development of VPD police women through training and knowledge expansions; increase the contributions to public safety of police women in leadership; increase professional development for women seeking leadership positions. The grant will be funded by the Dr. Joseph Cohen Endowment, which was established in 2011 to support projects and initiatives that Dr. Cohen fundraised for and supported during his lifetime.
Women in the Downtown Eastside are particularly vulnerable to multiple forms of violence and often, are reluctant to call the Police when they have been victimized or others have been harmed. SisterWatch began in 2010 with the community and Police working together with a commitment to keep women safe in the community. In this neighbourhood, safety takes on many forms and with supportive funding, we can help women with immediate resolutions to some of their challenges which may include transportation costs to services outside the Lower Mainland, educational opportunities and program fees, family connections and cultural celebrations. Funding remains crucial in developing trusting relationships to support their goals.
Reflective Safety Bracelets
This grant would be used to fund reflective safety bracelets (slap bracelets) with emergency contact information to be used as a community outreach and engagement product for parents, children, seniors and vulnerable persons at special community events such as pedestrian safety awareness campaigns and to complement the Child Find BC program. The added safety feature of an emergency contact ID can also assist law enforcement in the event of a found missing child, seniors and/or vulnerable persons.
Senior Fraud Tips
The Public Affairs and Financial Crime Units have partnered to create an informational booklet for seniors so they can protect themselves from online scams and other forms of financial fraud. The booklet will be made available at community centres and used at outreach events. The booklet would also be translated into Chinese and Punjabi to ensure the information is accessible to the majority of Vancouver's seniors.
Women’s Personal Safety Team
The VPD Women's Personal Safety Team is a truly unique program supporting women's safety in our community. Our program enhances women's security, self-protection and confidence by providing the tools to prevent and defend from asocial violence, including education, training and resources. We teach women of all ages, demographics and abilities.
Lunch with The Chief
The popular Lunch with the Chief series seeks ongoing funding for the next 3 years in order to continue hosting events at the Carnegie Community Centre for residents of the Downtown Eastside, as well as VPD frontline and Executive members, including the Chief Constable. This event takes place approximately 5 times a year and has been hugely successful in improving relationships between law enforcement and community members. By providing an informal platform for engagement, participants are able to share in food and conversation, as a way to break down established barriers of communication and have meaningful, positive interactions in a neutral environment.
Mental Health & Addictions
Honour The Fallen
A 60 minute TV documentary is currently being produced to tell the story of 15 families who lost a loved one in the line of duty. It will include footage from the family of Cst. Paul Sanghera, a VPD member who was killed on January 8, 1982. The documentary has funding and national broadcasting coverage secured, and this grant will support the late Cst. Paul Sanghera's segment.
A peer-led mental wellness program for grade 7 students aims to reduce the stigma of mental health. The pilot project works in conjunction with the VSB with training by a VPD facilitator. This year they delivered 75 workshops and trained 130 Youth (grade 10-12) Facilitators.
Beyond The Blue
Spouses and partners of law enforcement members face a unique set of circumstances in their relationships. Cumulative stress, critical incident stress, alcoholism and marital discord are just a few of the issues affecting some police members and their families. Vancouver Beyond The Blue is committed to providing a community of support and ally ship to VPD spouses, partners and their families. Through education, training and practical tools we will support participants to be successful in their own lives while supporting their VPD member.
AOT Operation Carepack Backpacks
The Assertive Outreach Team (AOT) is a healthcare and police partnership unique to Vancouver. Persons with severe mental health and addiction issues have interactions with the criminal justice/healthcare systems as a result of their illnesses. AOT conducts outreach to clients to reduce incidences of violence and self-harm; to protect the public by stabilizing and supporting clients (decompensating or in crisis) to improve their quality of life and transition them to an appropriate level of care. Most AOT clients are unemployed, living in extreme poverty and many are homeless. The Care Packs will provide clients with some necessities, improve quality of life and promote positive relationships between clients and the police. The Care Packs will be a waterproof backpack with: winter outdoor/waterproof gloves; thermal socks; toque; a 120 pc first aid kit; nail clippers; flashlight; toothbrush; reusable water bottle; Narcan kit; deodorant; toothpaste; breakfast bars; feminine products; wet wipes and a Save-On Meats meal token.
The ID4ME identification project is designed to assist low barrier and vulnerable individuals to move forward in their lives by providing them with photo identification. The success of this program has been felt, in particular, in the Downtown Eastside with the residents in the area using their new ID to open bank accounts, obtain improved housing, and upgrading their education. Every contact made with individuals in this program closes the gap in helping to strengthen the existing relationship with the Police. Since 2015, the Vancouver Police Foundation has supported ID4ME which has already acquired just over 650 pieces of identification including birth certificates, BCID, BC Services card and Status cards, changing the lives and lifestyles of residents in our community.
CPC Volunteer Mental Readiness Training
A one-day yearly training session for Community Policing Centre volunteers and staff members. The session will include lunch and supplies/resources. Training will include mental readiness, crisis intervention, youth and bullying. In 2018, they were offered mental readiness training with crisis intervention. The feedback indicated that expanded training on crisis intervention with specific focus on youth and bullying. The training symposium in 2019 coincided with Pink Shirt Day and focused on bullying.
Technology & Special Equipment
Personal Floatation Devices
The Foundation funded this program last year and PFDs were outfitted in most patrol cars. However, they are not available in all and there have still been instances when patrol officers had no access to PFDs while responding to calls in or near water. The purpose of this request is to ensure all patrol cars and NCOs, negotiators and beach patrol all have access to PFDs when responding to calls. The prior VPF grant which funded the majority of the purchase of PFDs was put to good use. At least three calls responded to utilized the equipment.
DVACH FSGV Victim Transportation Program
The VPD Domestic Violence and Criminal Harassment Unit (DVACH) works closely with the Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV) to provide support and outreach to victims of intimate partner violence and elder abuse. FSGV Support Workers support victims by providing transportation and accompaniment to Crown and police appointments and more. Two donated vehicles are crucial to the operation of this program is this grant will help maintain the vehicles and provide insurance.
As criminal endeavours become more sophisticated, so to must law enforcement approaches with respect to preventing and detecting such activity. The VPD currently has no proactive online awareness campaigns addressing this issue. This project will have CounterExploitation Unit Detectives purchase 10-15 website domains which are likely to pique the interest of those seeking sexual services of persons under 18. Project SNARE aims to promote awareness based on redirecting the interest of sex consumers to an awareness message outlining the potential consequences of such behaviour.
Trafficking Awareness Through Technology
The VPD’s Counter Exploitation Unit is the only investigative unit in BC targeting and focusing on human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Exploitation can occur to people from all walks of life, from the most vulnerable to those with supportive family and stable socioeconomic backgrounds. Youth and young people are especially vulnerable. This project will raise awareness through social media and will help people identify a pimp and to prevent them engaging with one; the second focus is to ensure that victims or potential victims have easy access to outreach and resources. They are more likely to reach out if the information is only a few clicks away.
The 529 Garage aims to resolve the problem of bike theft by tracking ownership, creating a visible deterrent to bike theft (via a unique decal) and by allowing bike owners and the police to assist each other in locating and returning stolen bikes. The program is a comprehensive bike registry and recovery system, accessible online or through an app. Since 2015, the Project has registered 12,502 bikes and aims to add another 5,000 by year-end.
Binocular Night Vision Devices
Two additional BNVDs to augment the Emergency Response Team’s existing inventory will allow them to respond more safely and effectively to critical incidents in low-light/no-light environments. The requirement for BNVDs during calls for service has increased significantly since their original fielding in 2015.
For over 21 years, the Odd Squad has delivered drug and gang prevention programs to youth, parents and professionals. This work is founded in the use of reality based materials captured by members as they work. It’s delivered through three streams – drug and gang prevention presentations, P2P based education training sessions and in educational films and documentaries. The purchase of new equipment – cameras, edit workstations and presentation equipment will help them stay at the forefront of reality based education.
Streetfront Alternative Program
The Streetfront Alternative Program at Britannia Secondary caters to students between 14 – 17 years who struggle in a traditional classroom due to psychosocial challenges. A majority of Streetfront’s students live in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Streetfront emphasizes physical activity as a way to engage struggling students, with a major focus on training to run marathons. In 2018, a 17-year old student involved with the program for several years qualified for the Boston Marathon with a time under 3 hours. It teaches the importance of positive lifestyle choices, mental and physical fitness, leadership, community spirit and socially responsible behavior. It gives students experience in building relationships and achieving milestones through hard work.
YouthConnect is a one-day symposium designed to give high school students a forum to discuss trends such as consent, diversity, healthy relationships and personal safety. While the VPD has a number of excellent programs aimed at preventing crime, promoting public safety and building bridges with youth (PAL, Student Challenge, Cadets), young people continue to face difficult decisions about personal relationships, safety and online behavior and often feel isolated and without support. This has resulted in physical and sexual assaults in schools, distribution of personal and intimate images and unsafe social media use. YouthConnect was created in 2017 to combat these emerging trends. Each year, approx. 150 students, staff and councilors from public and private schools in Vancouver attend to discuss and learn about consent, diversity, health relationships, personal safety and safe dating.
VPD Winter Invitational
This year the VPD will be celebrating it's 10th year of hosting the VPD Winter Invitational Basketball Tournament. It has become the largest basketball tournament in the city of Vancouver consisting of 250 participants. The goal of this tournament is to provide student athletes with an opportunity against their peers from across Vancouver in a safe environment where athletic and scholastic achievements can be recognized.
Gang Tackle & Turning Point – 3 year grant
These two programs were developed to provide education and strong alternative choices for at-risk youth who are vulnerable to the drug trade. It also builds strong, positive relationships between youth and police and encourages youth to make choices before it’s too late.
Gang Tackle consists of a friendly flag football game with varsity and professional athletes, police and the youth in the program. Students then hear from former gang members as they talk about their experiences with gangs and the negative impact it had on their lives. Turning Point provides youth with the opportunities to go a “walking tour” of the DTES and speak to residents of that community. A key focus for those talks is the residents talking about the reality of life on the DTES (in addition to seeing it first hand) and how life’s choices have long-term consequences. This program is granted $10,000 per year for 3 years.
VGBA Langara Showcase
In 2018 and 2019, the Vancouver Girls' Basketball Association partnered up with Langara College and the VPD to run a girls' basketball tournament featuring sixteen Vancouver schools. The Vancouver Police Foundation will once again provide scholarships to eight graduating senior girls for the 2020 VGBA Langara Challenge.
VPD Vancouver Showcase
Last November, members of the VPD basketball club hosted a basketball clinic for approximately 65 youth at Britannia Secondary School. This event will return this November and members of the VPD basketball club will be hosting 100 youth at this free basketball camp.
Gang Education and Prevention programs have primarily been conducted with a male-focus, yet young women are also victims of gang violence and the tragedies that come with involvement in gang life. Her Time was created to provide young women with a voice and to allow women to actively participate in taking control of their lives. Her Time has reached over 40 schools and over 5,000 students, educators and community partners. Proactively, the program provides young women with the tools, resources and knowledge about the dangers of gang lifestyle. Reactively, the program offers women currently involved or at high-risk to becoming involved in gang life the opportunity to connect with the detectives who will provide assistance with an exit strategy.
End Gang Life
End Gang Life is a comprehensive gang education, prevention, and awareness initiative that uses visually impactful images and messages. VPD Gang Crime Unit members in the company of a experiential speaker present this program to Vancouver students.
Project MESH – 2 Year Grant
Project MESH is geared to connect youth with members of the VPD through a variety of sports activities and positive role model interactions. MESH will engage first-generation youth with VPD police leaders through recreation and personal contact. MESH will collaborate with District 3 community centers and elementary schools to lead in creating specialized police-youth events centered on sports and socialization activities. These events will create and instill confidence in elementary school-aged children to stand-up to bullying and street-gang influence. This program is granted $5,000 per year for 2 years.
East End Boys Club
Created in 2018, the East End Boys Club (EEBC) addresses community needs by creating opportunity for marginalized youth. EEBC participants are (grade 9-12) challenged with various personal issues who collectively assist each other to build confidence, self-empowerment and teamwork through group discussion and fine arts. EEBC's VSB approved curriculum includes credit for active participation in bi-weekly meetings with community leaders as guest speakers and work in original theater and film productions. In its inaugural year, EEBC is in 4 VSB schools, 180+ participants and 6000+ from community attending theater/film productions. EEBC's success has garnered demand from educators to expand into 4 additional VSB schools. The Foundation grant would cover the EEBC expansion cost for the projected 360+ students for 2019/20 school year.
Strathcona Backpack Program
The Strathcona Community Centre Backpack Program operates on a weekly basis strategically set on Friday afternoons to ensure maximum program delivery. Created in 2010, 125 families and 360 kids began accessing the backpack program. These numbers have increased yearly with roughly 175 families with 415 children accessing the Backpack Program each week throughout the school year in 2018. Families come and access the community centre and fill a large backpack up with fruits, vegetables, and healthy non-perishable staples. The backpacks are filled with well-rounded nutritional support for families experiencing food insecurity. The families can also access registered nutritionists who volunteer their time to educate families on how to eat healthy meals on limited budgets. This program was created to fill the increasing need for food security for low income and impoverished families living in the Downtown Eastside. Access to healthy food choices over the weekend can be difficult when the school breakfast, snack and lunch programs are not available to them. The VPD District 2 Neighbourhood Police Officer, Cst. Janine Tanino works closely with the Strathcona Community Centre to interact and create inclusion for families and children while they access this program.
Windermere Run Club
The Club provides a supportive and welcoming running environment for dozens of youth. Grades 8-12 students are at-risk of negative association, criminal involvement and victimization. By participating in the Club, led by VPD members, the youth are learning to overcome personal challenges together by running as a collective and encouraging each other. In addition, they develop positive relationships with VPD members. The Foundation will fund the purchase of running gear for students to train safely and in all weather conditions, as well as race entrance fees and other expenses.
VPD Cadet Program
In May 2015, 60 Vancouver inner-city youths completed the inaugural year of the Vancouver Police Cadet Program. This 28-week, youth-at-risk program had a positive and profound impact on their lives. The program commenced in September of 2014 with seed funding provided by the VPD Cadet Program Founding Partners and proceeds from the 2014 Night Patrol Gala. The Vancouver Police Department, along with the Vancouver Police Foundation and its community partners, are deeply 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 neighbourhoods, toward a positive future. By embedding a strong sense of leadership in these children, along with scholastic excellence and life skills through fun and engaging programs, the new cadets become empowered leaders in our communities. The VPF is pleased to welcome 100 cadets in its sixth year of programming.
The VPD Student Challenge Program has been operating out of the Youth Services Unit for the past 22 years. The Foundation's continued support will ensure that up to 50 youths per year, for the next three years, will have the opportunity to participate in activities promoting pro-social values and the development of life skills such as leadership, decision-making and problem solving.
NewKids Vancouver Youth Police Academy
With the numbers of newcomer youth entering Vancouver area schools continuing to increase, the Foundation is committed to continue its support of NewKids program to support new immigrant and refugee youth to develop a sense of identity and belonging. The ten-week program focuses on instilling education and awareness around law enforcement through peer and police mentorship, to avert the risk of negative behaviours, and criminal involvement. In addition, it offers newcomer and refugee youth the chance to form positive relationships, instilling civic pride, self-empowerment and a foundation for positive decision making.
Police Athletic League Soccer Program
The club has operated 2 youth programs for over 30 years - free for participants. The soccer school draws approximately 250-300 children provides a positive experience and a positive environment to interact with VPD officers. The program provides soccer equipment through a local business to children in East Vancouver that cannot afford to participate in the sport. This past July, hundreds of Vancouver kids between the ages of six to 17, will be took part in the VPD Youth Soccer Camp in Strathcona Park. The camp is one of many initiatives that the VPD uses to engage and connect with youth in the community. The camp is organized by volunteers from the Vancouver Police Soccer and Services Club, and is a success each year thanks to the generous support of the Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club, Bell, and CIBC Wood Gundy.