Trustees vote to end program assigning uniformed police officers to Vancouver schools

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VANCOUVER — Uniformed police officers will no longer be assigned to Vancouver public schools after trustees voted to end its school liaison officer program.

The program has been under review for almost a year due to concerns that uniformed officers make some students anxious or upset, including many identifying as Black, Indigenous or people of colour.

Trustees voted eight to one Monday in favour of a motion to halt the program at the end of June.

The decision is supported by several groups, including the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council and associations representing elementary and secondary school teachers in the city.

The school board will now work with Vancouver police and RCMP to create what the motion defines as a "new relationship" developing "trauma-informed approaches to working with children and youth."

Sgt. Steve Addison says in a statement that Vancouver police were open to an "evolving" relationship that could include roles for plainclothes officers in city schools.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press