Jan. 24, 2017
Dear Mayor, Council and City Manager,
The Strathcona Residents Association is in favor of staff's proposal to establish the city’s eleventh Community Policing Centre to serve our growing and diverse neighbourhood.
We share the concern about the current opioid crisis and unanimously voiced our formal support for the two supervised injection service locations proposed for our area. But addressing this crisis does not happen in a vacuum. The eastward migration of services in the DTES has an impact on the entire community that needs to be acknowledged and addressed.
Strathcona is a diverse community that includes growing families, seniors, two elementary schools, two community centres, public parks and small businesses. We have parents who live in fear of their children picking up a discarded needle in the park and an alarming number of assaults and robberies. To characterize legitimate concerns for public safety as “anti-drug user moral panic” is unfair. We are all impacted by this crisis. Rather than polarize issues and incite outrage, we feel it would be far more productive all of us to work together.
We feel that a Community Policing Centre would be a positive step in that direction. As described in the city’s proposal, it will be “a hub for the collection of community public safety concerns.” Our hope is that it would work in conjunction with the city’s other efforts to address this crisis: harm reduction, education, outreach and overdose response. Like the other ten CPC’s currently in operation around Vancouver, it is intended to be volunteer run and not an excuse for “bonus police funding.”
What form it will take is a conversation we have yet to begin, but it is our hope that that conversation welcomes and includes everyone who has a stake in our community, especially drug users themselves.
Strathcona Residents Association
Council Members: Dan Jackson