The Government appointed a Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act to make recommendations relating to the reform and modernization of policing in BC. The scope of their review includes the role of police with respect to complex social issues including mental health, systemic racism within police agencies and its impact on public safety and trust, and whether measures are needed to make the legislation consistent with DRIPA. The Special Committee will table its final report to Government in early 2022.
The final written submission contained approximately 16 recommendations, including the need for disaggregated data to properly identify key areas of concerns that will inform policing agencies as to needed training, education and policies. The paper also provided recommendations to address the lack of accountability for police-involved deaths, addressed the undesirable effects of seizure of personal property, disciplinary proceedings for police and reduced reliance on firearms and lethal weapons by police.
The submission addresses the current perception and reality for many people who are either subject to over-policing or under-policing. A theme that runs through this submission is that the relationship between police and the communities that they have taken an oath to serve and protect needs more balance. The first step in developing more trust between police and communities is through the thoughtful collection and analysis of the relevant data in consultation with impacted communities.
CBABC made a call for volunteers to form a consultation group which met several times throughout the spring of 2021 to identify issues of importance and to offer research and recommendations for the final written submission.
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