VANCOUVER, BC - Trustee Chan-Pedley will be introducing a motion tonight with Trustee Barb Parrott to discontinue the School Liaison Officer program (SLO). If passed the program will be discontinued effective the end of June, 2021.
Last year the Vancouver School Board requested that a review of the School Liaison Officer program be completed to inform the board in making decisions as to the future of this program in Vancouver schools. The board engaged a third party communications firm to review the program, which submitted its report March 3rd. At the board’s direction, the review centered the voices of students who self-identified as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) and/or with direct experience with the SLO program. The board also received substantial public feedback.
The motion directs the board to work with the VPD and RCMP to establish interim relationships for the start of the 2021 school year regarding communication protocols and points of contact in the event of school emergencies, protocols and training for emergency procedures in schools, information sessions for students, and a referral process to the Gang Intervention Unit. This process needs to reflect the value of community relationships and de-escalation that has been provided by liaison officers in the past.
“This has been a long process and I am grateful to everyone who reached out to me with their thoughts and concerns about this program,” says Chan-Pedley. “Conversations about policing, abuse of power, racism and minoritization are deeply emotional and for many, deeply personal.”
“The process the board engaged in helped document the wide spectrum of experiences with the SLO program. As trustees, we have a responsibility to thoughtfully consider our options, and hear from those who will be affected, before making a decision. I am thankful to my fellow trustees for their good faith engagement on this, and to Trustee Parrott for working collaboratively with me on this motion.”
Notice of Motion – Discontinue School Liaison Officer Program (Page 54), April, 2021