SCHOOL LIAISON UNIT
Vancouver Police Department's School Liaison Unit was established in April 1972, with service commencing at Killarney Secondary School. The current school population in Vancouver is approximately 65,000; between students, parents and staff, approximately one quarter of the population of Vancouver is reached by the VPD's School Liaison Program.
The School Liaison Officer program combines education, investigation, law enforcement, counseling, crime prevention and community relations to meet the diverse needs of residents in the school community. The program's users include students, staff, parents, the community, the VPD and School Liaison Officers. This unit consists of one sergeant and 15 constables.
The common goals of Canadian School Liaison programs are:
- prevention of crime and the enhancement of community safety through education
- promotion of the police as an accessible community service
- elimination of barriers between youth and police
- investigation of offences and enforcement of laws
- promotion of policing as a career
Functions of School Liaison Officers
School Liaison Officers:
- deliver safety and crime prevention lessons to students, staff and parents
- act as a legal resource to students, administrators and staff
- counsel and talk informally with students
- work to enhance the safety and security of the school
- coach teams, join clubs and escort field trips
- investigate criminal offences relating to the school and its population
- serve as a liaison between the school and the criminal justice system
In addition to the School Liaison Program, the VPD operates the School Safety Patrol which teaches elementary school children about safety issues. The School Safety Patrol also oversees school crossing guards and parent parking.