Hey Gregor, get the inquiry going yourself!

B.C.’s Solicitor General, Mike De Jong, is mulling an inquiry into the police’s handling of the disappearance of at least 26 women (the minimum counts of murder Pickton is charged with).  The RCMP says that an inquiry is warranted.  When even those guys think an inquiry is warranted, to look at their own performance, then there should be no doubt in De Jong’s mind that this should be called. 

 

But hey, even if De Jong doesn’t call anything, as will most likely happen, that shouldn’t stop Gregor from doing something about this.  I can guarantee you without a doubt that there are countless feminist, poverty-rights, drug-rights, sex-worker rights organizations in Vancouver who would give anything to work with the VPD on improving how they deal with and respond to marginalized people.  Clearly, there are still people in the VPD who don’t take Downtown Eastside (DTES) people seriously as we witnessed with the woman being shoved to the ground by a VPD officer. 

 

So we get these non-profits and university researchers to work together to review the VPD’s current sensitivity training and internal processes for dealing with complaints and tips from marginalized people.  They then make recommendations for how to improve conditions, including I assume, some sort of civilian body that would continually review the process and act as a liaison for the City on these matters. 

 

Of course it would be great to make the RCMP better but we know the federal government doesn’t have the ability to institute meaningful change in a broken system of policing and security so the least we can do is make things better here in Vancouver.  Gregor has done a great job of getting bike lanes and food carts added to the city but I haven’t seen any effort to improve our police force.  He has the ability to affect change in the VPD since they report to the City and not to the RCMP but instead he seems to want the province to take control of this issue.  It might be a problem of money but when there’s a will there’s a way, including making use of all of the great non-profits and researchers that we have in the city. 

 

This is the least the City can do to honour the lives that were lost at the hands of a police force that was unwilling to help people in need and there’s no telling how many murders could have been prevented had the police acted much sooner.  As a small step towards demonstrating that the VPD takes the DTES seriously the VPD needs to severely discipline the cop who shoved the woman to the ground and his co-workers who did nothing to stop him or help the lady afterwards.    

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