The Vancouver Police have announced they will avoid filling 35 positions due to the City's budget shortfall. That will mean 35 fewer constables on the street and longer response times.
David Eby of the BC Civil Liberties Association says there is no need for cuts to result in fewer constables on the street. Eby told CBC Radio last week that the Vancouver Police Department could first look at cutting their Media Relations department which is bigger than that of the City of Vancouver. The VPD media relations department, Eby said, is twice the size of the public relations departments in other organizations their size. Eby also pointed out that the VPD has an executive with an average salary of $182,000, another place that could withstand cuts.
I would add one thing: the reason the VPD needs such a monstrous media relations department is that they promote officers to six figure executive positions despite records of unprofessional and/or criminal conduct, officers who are at risk of re-offending. Take Warren Lemcke. There is documented evidence linking Lemcke to a political psychiatry scam, involving fraud and later destruction of evidence. After the evidence surfaced, Lemcke was allowed to personally decide whether the investigation into himself would proceed. He decided to cancel it. He was then promoted twice, first to Inspector and then to Superintendent. He's now well ensconced in the VPD Six Figure Club. He's even paraded in front of media cameras as head of "Con Air".
It's this constant covering for cops with questionable records by the VPD that requires a mega 'spin' department.