Metro Vancouver Transit Police Constable Mike Yake expected that he would be working in the Transit Police Recruiting Unit this spring while also training for his new role as a Media Relations Officer for the department. But that’s not the way things went.
Instead, he’s found himself on the frontlines in the Patrol Division, playing an important role in ensuring the safety of the people who rely on transit.
“We’ve all had to adjust,” says Cst. Yake, who’s been a Transit Police officer for 5 years after working as a Deputy Sheriff prior.
“As a department and as individuals, we continually have to adapt and overcome obstacles to ensure we are not only operating safely, but are on the road enhancing public safety and assisting those in crisis. It’s challenging to help someone while maintaining physical distance, or making sure that PPE is donned before responding to certain situations. But safety is always our first consideration.”
In this time of uncertainty, tensions can run high and Transit Police officers find themselves responding to a variety of volatile situations that can include weapons and sometimes put officers in harm’s way. But Cst. Yake is quick to point out that the job is still very rewarding.
He recalls one recent file as an example. “While on patrol, I came across a man that was in possession of a bike valued at nearly $8,000. I was able to confirm that the bike didn’t belong to him and thanks to Project 529, I was able to find the rightful owner. When I brought the bike to her, she was ecstatic as she’d thought that her prized possession was gone forever.”
This morning I came across a man that was in possession of a bike valued at nearly $8,000. Thanks to our friends at @Project529BC , I was able to confirm that the bike was stolen last month. Thankfully, it will soon be returned to an extremely happy owner. Stay safe! 👍
— Cst. Mike Yake (@CstMYake) March 28, 2020
Transit Police is the only police agency in Canada that is focused on a public transportation system. Transit Police officers have full police powers within the province of British Columbia, both on and off duty, the same as municipal police officers. They investigate crime, enforce laws and statutes (including the Criminal Code), and help provide seamless policing across Metro Vancouver in partnership with local police agencies.
They are a key factor in keeping transit safe, a role that Cst. Yake doesn’t take lightly.
“In unprecedented times like these, I am incredibly proud to have the ability to play my part in supporting those in need and enhancing public safety,” he says.
Anyone who feels unsafe on transit, is worried about the safety of someone else, or sees anything suspicious, can contact Transit Police directly by phone at 604.515.8300 or by texting 87.77.77. Always call 911 in an emergency.