Transit police board must change

The Straight

Community activist Am Johal addressed the police-dominated board governing Greater Vancouver’s armed transit police when the body held its first meeting for this year on January 14.

Johal told board members that that governance of the board remains a major issue.

Unlike municipal police forces, the transit police board isn’t controlled by civilian representatives.

“In my personal view, the governance of the board is reflective of bureaucratic, political and policing disconnection from the public interest and directly undermines basic standards associated with the democratic governance of policing,” Johal told the board.

He also said at the meeting that the all police representatives should be removed by the end of January 2008 at the very latest.

“Public oversight by non-policing and non-bureaucratic representatives has become a basic democratic principle that should never be compromised or delegated away without reasonable deliberation,” Johal said.

Johal also said that the existence of this board, “in its present form, is an affront to democracy and a total embarrassment that it exists at all in Canada in the 21st Century”.

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