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VPD changing procedures following equity review

January 21, 2022

By Vancouver Sun |

The Vancouver Police Department is updating dozens of internal procedures in the first suite of changes stemming from an internal “equity, diversity and inclusion review” launched last year to prevent systemic biases.

The review was announced last June following a year of often heated public debate on the question of institutional discrimination in police agencies, in Vancouver and around the continent, as well as systemic racism in broader society.

The VPD’s four-officer equity, diversity and inclusion (or EDI) review team has been working through the department’s regulations and procedures manual and other related documents totalling more than 1,500 pages. The Vancouver police board, the department’s civilian governance and oversight body, received an update at its meeting Thursday, outlining the review’s first phase.

So far, the team has examined 20 per cent of the VPD’s procedures manual, and recommended 12 “EDI-related changes” to 12 policies, as well as language, formatting and procedural changes to 29 other policies.

Drazen Manojlovic, the director of the VPD’s planning, research and audit section, told the board meeting the changes relate to “relatively ancient procedures” dating back roughly 20 years.

“The examination of the policies, procedures and forms looks to ensure that, at the very least, the language is inclusive,” Manojlovic said. “But importantly, that the policies and the procedures within them are procedurally fair … and people are treated equally and without being subject to any kind of bias.”

The report prepared for the board says the EDI review “reflects on the realities and challenges faced by equity-deserving groups including people who identify as 2SLGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous and people of colour. The VPD respectfully acknowledges the need to address inequities shaped by social determinants, in addition to the need to reflect these changes in the evolution of the VPD’s policies and procedures, processes and training.”

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