VANCOUVER, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - The President of the Vancouver Police Union,
(VPU) is taking the City of Vancouver to court over its decision to use public
tax dollars to finance private policing in part of downtown Vancouver.
"We are petitioning the BC Supreme Court to rule that City Council's
decision to fund and contract for private policing through the "Ambassador"
program of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association is
illegal," says VPU President Tom Stamatakis.
Vancouver City Council voted in December 2007, to provide nearly $900,000
in public money to expand the private policing program in the downtown core,
which to date, local businesses have been funding themselves.
"This is the thin edge of the private policing wedge and it's appalling
that it's being publicly funded," adds Stamatakis.
"The public should also be concerned about the lack of accountability and
oversight: public tax dollars are funding private police who are not
accountable to the public under the Police Act, not subject to standards of
discipline and rules of professional conduct, and over which there is no
civilian oversight," he says.
"The citizens of Vancouver have the right to expect professional,
properly-funded public policing throughout the city provided by the Vancouver
Police Department. It is completely inappropriate for city council to fund
private policing in one particular area of the city while failing to
adequately fund its public force," says Stamatakis.
Numerous recent independent studies and recommendations have stated the
need for increased funding and more police officers in Vancouver.
The petition to the BC Supreme Court asks that the Council's decision to
provide funding be quashed on the grounds that the decision contravenes both
the Police Act and the Vancouver Charter.
For further information:
For further information: Tom Stamatakis, (604) 312-7737