Police no longer hold majority on Transit Police board

By Jeff Nagel – BC Local News

The police board overseeing TransLink’s Transit Police Service now has a civilian chair and a majority of civilian members.

The change answers critics who had argued it was too heavily skewed to police, violating the basic standards of police governance.

Peter W. Webster, a member of the Transit Police Board for several years and past director on the Vancouver Police Board, was appointed chair by Solicitor General Kash Heed.

Webster replaces New Westminster Police Chief Constable Lorne Zapotichny, who had served as chair for five years and now leaves the board.

Two new civilian members have also been added:

– Virginia Hasselfield, a former director on the board of the Fraser River Port Authority with experience in commerce, fundraising and corporate change; and

– R. William Brown, a former Port Moody Police Board member with a background in international commerce.

They bring the Transit Police Board up to five civilian members and two sworn senior police administrators.

Transit Police Chief Ward Clapham welcomed the change.

“The oversight and reporting procedure under this kind of structure is a healthy and fair process for us and the citizens we serve,” he said.

Other reappointed board members include: RCMP Assistant Commissioner Peter German, Vancouver Police Deputy Chief Doug LePard, TransLink Chief Financial Officer Ian Jarvis, and Baj Puri, who also chairs the B.C. Association of Police Boards.

The police board’s duties include appointing officers and setting goals, priorities, standards, guidelines and policies.

The board is also charged with overseeing complaints and preventing neglect and abuse by officers.

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