Vancouver’s community policing centres and their unique approach to citizen involvement are drawing international attention.
Last year alone, the Hastings Sunrise CPC attracted government and police representatives from France, South Korea and the Netherlands. Collingwood CPC hosted visits from Shanghai and Beijing in China, involving high-ranking officials from government, universities, police and prisons. Saudi Arabia sent envoys the previous year.
All want to learn about the system, pioneered here, in which citizens are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their safety and the general well-being of their community.
At the core are the CPCs, created and operated by concerned citizens, who in turn invite the Vancouver Police Department to become a partner in creating a safer community, along with a small staff overseeing a large corps of volunteers.
It is a system unique in North America, and perhaps the world. And now, it seems, the world wants in on it.
As 2012 drew to a close, HSCPC executive director Clair MacGougan found himself in Paris, France, addressing delegates from 40 countries at the European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) Conference.