National Police Week is May 13–19! This week, police forces across from Canada are connecting with their communities and increasing awareness about the services they provide. Here on The Buzzer blog, we’re kicking off our new series, Meet Your Transit Police!
This will be a semi-regular series that profiles members of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police, who ensure safety and security on and around the region’s public transportation system, including SkyTrain, bus, SeaBus and West Coast Express.
Metro Vancouver is home to Canada’s only public police force dedicated to transit with full provincial policing powers: Metro Vancouver Transit Police (MVTP). They’re responsible for a service area that crosses 21 municipalities and one First Nation, working to reduce crime and disorder through community policing and beat-style patrols.
Here are five things you might know about Transit Police!
They’re provincial police officers
Transit Police officers are designated provincial police officers. It means they have full police powers throughout the province of British Columbia, 24/7, on and off duty—the same as municipal police officers in British Columbia.
Dogs with jobs
The Transit Police Dog Service Unit, specializing in explosives detection, patrols the system. It’s just one of the many initiatives that keep the system safe! The unit is comprised of four Labradors: Lucie, Cruiser, Kona and Diesel. They’re friendly and you are often welcome to pet them—just make sure you ask their human partner for permission first!
On duty 24/7/365
The Metro Vancouver Transit Police Operations Centre is available 24/7/365, responding to non-emergency events texted to 87.77.77 and calls to 604.515.8300. Remember—in an emergency, always call 9-1-1.
Patrol operations are guided by intelligence reports and crime trend analysis. Transit Police also works closely with Transit Security on ensuring the safety and security of bus operators and passengers across Metro Vancouver.
Policing the moving city
Metro Vancouver Transit Police responds to incidents all over the transit system, and deploys foot patrols and mobile response units. Their work is guided by four operational priorities: reducing sexual offences, reducing frontline workplace assaults, helping vulnerable people in crisis and building system resiliency.
Walking the beat
Did you know Transit Police officers usually patrol the same areas each day? It’s called walking the beat. This community-focused, holistic approach allows our Neighbourhood Police Officers (NPOs) to develop specialist knowledge of the areas they work in and understand the particular needs of each community. This approach translates into a safer journey for all passengers and safer workplace for transit staff.
Over the coming months, we’ll be profiling members of Transit Police and all they to do keep our transit system safe!