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Archived - Minister Steven Blaney visits Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and meets with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
VANCOUVER – April 16, 2014 – The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today issued the following statement concerning his visit to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), followed by a meeting with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP).
“Yesterday evening I had the opportunity to visit Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with the Vancouver Police Department. This was an excellent opportunity to see for myself the challenges officers face when working in an area densely populated with drug use, prostitution and other criminal activity.
I found the level of respect the officers demonstrated towards the individuals we came in contact with quite impressive. Patrolling this area, shift after shift, officers get to know the people and their stories. It also struck me how they play an important preventative role by being visible in the community. People are much less likely to try to take advantage of the vulnerable, consider drug use or carry out acts of violence if they know a police officer may soon be turning the corner.
I was very pleased that VPD Chief Constable Jim Chu was able to join us, providing me with additional information and context from his perspective as Police Chief.
Meetings such as these are beneficial as they facilitate an exchange of information that helps shape future policy, legislation and other federal initiatives, better enabling both the Government and law enforcement to ensure the safety and security of Canadians. For instance, the CACP and other policing organizations and stakeholders have been important partners in the Economics of Policing initiative, where we are all working together to find solutions for developing more efficient and effective policing practices across Canada.
I thank both the VPD officers for an informative experience in the Downtown Eastside, and the CACP for taking the time to meet with me.”
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