Vancouver police chief calls for greater powers for complaints unit

 published by: The Globe & Mail
6th October 2010

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu says a planned new civilian-led provincial unit should cover all complaints against police and not just in-custody deaths and serious incidents as proposed by the B.C. government.

Few incidents meet this threshold, Mr. Chu told a news conference Wednesday, suggesting only an average of four incidents in Vancouver meet this standard each year. “By allowing the civilian investigators to investigate a broader range of incidents, they would develop more experience and expertise,” he said. He noted that broadening the role of the new unit would also save money for BC municipal police forces, which are spending more on professional standards units, he said.

Giving an example, Mr. Chu said that since the introduction of a new police act this March, professional standards investigations for his own force have risen 46 per cent or $803,000 on an annual basis.

“Extending the mandate of the [new unit] would not only improve public confidence in the investigation of allegations against police officers but allow every police agency to concentrate more resources on investigating crime,” he said.

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