RETIRING Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu has received a new provincial honour in recognition of his decades of distinguished service: the first commission issued to a municipal police officer in B.C., the Province announced on Monday.
Chu, who has served with the department for 36 years and led it for the last seven and a half, met the criteria and qualifications set out in the new police officer commissions regulation, which are:
* An exemplary service record.
* 10 or more years of service in B.C.
* At least a baccalaureate or master’s degree or equivalent, or the rank of inspector or higher for at least four years.
* The B.C. Director of Police Services, a qualifying supervisor or police board’s recommendation for a commission.
Government anticipates issuing several more commissions later this year, once other senior officers have been recommended and their eligibility is confirmed.
The new provincial commission formally recognizes high-calibre, senior members of municipal police departments and designated policing units for their rank, professionalism and dedication to policing in B.C. Officer commissions are a military tradition intended to symbolize that commissioned officers derive their authority directly from the sovereign.
Government passed related legislation last year and recently finalized eligibility criteria in consultation with senior police leaders and representatives of the BC Association of Police Boards and the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton said: “I’ve known Chief Constable Chu since my time as a prosecutor and he has led the Vancouver Police Department through a period of rapid and dynamic change for policing. His leadership has helped lower rates of violent crime in Vancouver, and his engagement and relationship-building with the Downtown Eastside community and its resident organizations, in light of the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry, are just two of his major accomplishments. As he heads into retirement from this position, his receipt of this first commission is a fitting tribute to his legacy and the inspiration his example will continue to provide to police officers in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.”
* The new provincial commissions are intended to recognize senior officers in the same spirit as commissions issued to senior members of the RCMP in B.C., and police elsewhere in Canada.
* Only current officers are eligible to receive a commission.