Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vancouver Police Stop Fundraising for United Way, a Year after Giving them a Harley

Photo: This photo was taken when a swarm of police officers on motorbikes stopped on Main St. What was the incident? They had to pick up their order from the SUBmarine sandwich shop. Two officers put the boxes of food in the trunk of a police car travelling with the motorcycles.

Vancouver Police have decided not to fund raise for United Way this year.

Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry were informed of this decision after writing to the Vancouver Police Board on Sept. 22/09 requesting that they put an end to Vancouver Police fundraising for United Way. Initially, COPP received an email from Rachelle Radiuk, Executive Director of the Police Board, stating that the request would be discussed in camera by the Police Board at their next meeting on October 21, 2009. But on Thursday, October 1, 2009, COPP received a second email from Radiuk stating:“I just received a copy of a letter sent from the Vancouver Police Union to the United Way confirming that the Union would NOT be participating in United Way fundraising this year as they will be promoting their own charity….”

For years, COPP has been criticizing the conflict of interest inherent in the role of Vancouver Police as a fundraising arm of a private charitable organization which they could be called upon at any time to investigate. United Way has even gotten onto the police payroll in that officers can opt for payroll deductions for United Way. COPP alleges that this conflict of interest relationship has resulted in police employing tactics including fabrication of evidence, illicit accessing of medical records, and political psychiatry, while under pressure from United Way to deter criticism.

Conflict of interest in the VPD's relationship with United Way was in evidence as recently as last year as COPP continued efforts to have this illegal activity addressed. In 2008, one of Chief Chu's aids called such efforts "vindictive" in a letter to a COPP member, a response to a letter addressed specifically to Chief Chu. At the same time, Chief Chu was arranging to give a decommissioned VPD Harley-Davidson motorcycle to United Way as a gift. City records show that the Chief personally lobbied the City to get this gift approved.