Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.

LETTER: Former cop responds to Langley columnist’s piece on defunding police

Surrey man spotlights initiatives for mental health and social work situations

Dear Editor,

I just read columnist Matthew Claxton’s piece in the Peace Arch News on new policing visions. You make some very good points and perhaps, as a retired police officer, I could respond to each of your three points/questions.

1. An excellent point about responding to non-criminal issues. Of course, they are not responding to the ‘crime’ of being mentally ill. They’re responding to the behaviours that are being exhibited and making people feel threatened. The police are the last resort since institutionalized mental health care was defunded. However, did you know that for the past 25 to 30 years the Vancouver Police have deployed a team of a social worker and a police officer 24/7. And, similarly they also deploy a team of a psychiatric nurse and a police officer 24/7. They’ve actually won awards for these programs. Every morning the VPD holds a media briefing and anywhere from 10 to 20 reporters attend every day. Every one of those reporters and the agencies they represent are well aware of those programs. Why do we never hear about how successful they are? I’ll leave you to figure that out.

2. Another excellent point, Sir, about hiring people with expertise to investigate complex financial crimes. Police agencies have actually been doing just that for decades now. But they are hired on contract as subject matter experts. If you contact the VPD Financial Crimes Section or the RCMP Commercial Crime Units, they’ll explain how that works. One other thing is that those police officers that work in those units also are assigned to other duties quite regularly either on overtime or as part of their overall sworn duties. There are many demands for police and a chronic shortage to fulfill all demands. Every police officer has to be a Jack/Jill of all trades in order to get through every 24-hour period.

3. Does every police officer need a gun. The answer is no, but every police officer is required to maintain specific, provincially mandated firearm proficiency. However, many, many police officers go months without carrying a firearm. But again, because of daily needs every police officer is required to have a firearm and to be highly trained in their use in case tomorrow they have to deployed to an event or incident or whatever.

You’ve just scratched the surface of many important issues. I encourage you to contact the VPD Media Liaison Unit to dig deeper. You can start with the Operational Reviews and Yearly Budget Analysis to learn more how police continuously scrutinize themselves and change operational and deployment processes. It may be an eye opener and may lead to questions about why the public is never told of these important initiatives.

Max Chalmers, Surrey

ColumnistLetter to the Editor

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Essie Boelema, a 17-year-old lavender farmer, is passionate about the plant. (Screenshot/Special to The Star)
VIDEO: Langley lavender growers say season soon to be in full bloom

Family-owned farm marks five years by preparing for a summer of sales, tours, and growth

Work was underway on the interior of the new Tennis Centre location in Langley. Popularity of the sport has risen during the pandemic (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Tennis business expands into Langley

‘Busiest we’ve ever been’ says manager

.
LETTER: Langley student calls on public to take action to stop pollution

Grade 7 students at Gordon Greenwood Elementary were tasked with writing about climate change.

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Langley and other communities should be concerned about credit union’s direction

Member read the fine print and does not like the proposed changes

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

A volunteer disinfects a historical Mohabat Khan mosque ahead of the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
For Canadian Muslims, second pandemic Ramadan is a time of hope and sadness

Many members of the association are trying to find ways ‘to help people stay connected to one another’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

South Surrey farmland, March 2020. The province’s crackdown on secondary residences sparked protests that have the NDP government engaged in a lengthy rewrite of its legislation. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)
B.C. NDP now wants to keep even ‘non-farmers’ on the land

‘Grandfathering’ of second residences extended again

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. The Vancouver Canucks say 25 players and coaches have tested positive during a COVID-19 outbreak that involves a variant of the virus. It is now the biggest reported outbreak in the NHL this season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks’ return to practice pushed back as player added to COVID protocol list

COVID outbreak has led to eight games being cancelled

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Most Read