New Unit To Enhance Policing For First Nations
For Immediate Release
Feb. 8, 2008
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
NORTH VANCOUVER – A new integrated Aboriginal policing unit will deliver an enhanced, community-focused policing service to the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, Solicitor General John Les announced today during a signing ceremony with the partners in the agreement.“The new unit will ensure that the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh receive community policing services that are culturally sensitive and responsive to their needs,” said Les. “Through this type of agreement, the Province is committed to building a new relationship with First Nations based on respect, recognition and reconciliation.”
The RCMP, in partnership with the West Vancouver Police Department, has created the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Integrated Aboriginal Policing Unit to deliver an enhanced policing service to both First Nation communities. The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General will provide an annual budget to the RCMP under the Provincial Police Service Agreement to fund the new unit. It establishes five new police positions, including two West Vancouver police and three RCMP members, in addition to the current RCMP First Nation Community Policing position. The unit will cover reserve lands located in North Vancouver, West Vancouver and the Squamish Valley and will complement the West Vancouver Police Department and RCMP policing services.
“This agreement provides an opportunity for the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations to play a strategic role in policing their communities,” West Vancouver Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones said. “It is our hope that increased public safety for the North Shore communities will be the result.”
“It is fundamental to our communities that we play a role in the policing process,” said Squamish Chief Byron Joseph. “I believe that this agreement will contribute to building new partnerships between the police and our communities that focus on making our nations safer for our children, youth, women and elders.”
Tsleil-Waututh Chief Leah George-Wilson says she is looking forward to the new relationship with police in the community. “We will be working to increase public safety for both communities through a strengthened partnership with the West Vancouver Police Department and RCMP by establishing a community consultative group that will identify policing goals, objectives and priorities for our communities.”
Recruitment of new officers to the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Integrated Aboriginal Policing Unit will begin soon, with the unit expected to be fully staffed within the year.
Public Affairs Officer