The BC Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP) is very supportive of the Provincial Governments announcement of the Safer Communities Action Plan. It is comprehensive and multi-tiered approach, which we believe will help address some of the key issues we face in communities throughout British Columbia. The actions taken by government show a commitment to public safety and swift action in relation to the Special Committee report on Reforming the Police Act, the First Nations Justice Strategy and the Investigation into Repeat Offending and Random Stranger Violence.
We acknowledge the commitment of government to provide additional resources to help combat the critical issue of repeat violent offenders in the province of British Columbia. With the increase in funding, police in BC will have the ability to specifically target repeat offenders while working with designated crown prosecutors to ensure repeat offenders are held accountable for their actions while ensuring better outcomes for the offender and our communities. Police in this province remain deeply committed to ensuring we uphold the highest level of public-safety while ensuring the highest level of support is given to those who need it.
Police leaders from across British Columbia are grateful for the provincial implementation of HealthIM. This evidence-based app will provide British Columbia’s law enforcement officers with another key de-escalation and risk screening tool to navigate the complexities of mental health emergencies and strengthen our ability to respond to and support those in crisis. Officers using HealthIM will better be able to communicate with health centres and community services to keep everyone safe. When police are called to intervene, HealthIM will provide us with the tools and information we need to keep everyone safe.
This comprehensive announcement by the Provincial Government is a welcomed and positive step forward. The BC Association of Chiefs of Police is appreciative that our collective voice was heard, and action is being taken. We look forward to being an integral part of this change and will continue to work with government and health partners to ensure we uphold public safety while providing support to those who require it.
Supt. Todd Preston
President, BC Association of Chiefs of Police