Open Access Articles- Top Results for South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service
South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service
|South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service|
|Heraldic badge of the SCBCTAPS|
|SCBCTAPS Coat of Arms|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
Formed in December 2005, the Metro Vancouver Transit Police is the only police force in Canada solely dedicated to transit, as most other cities use a combination of special constables and a transit division of their local police. Transit Police are a supplementary police agency with the jurisdictional police agency retaining primary responsibility for policing in each jurisdiction they serve.
Transit Police officers have the same authorities and powers as other police officers while on and off duty. They are sworn in as designated provincial constables, with full police powers throughout the province. They focus their efforts primarily on protecting the safety and security of passengers, employees, property, and revenue of Metro Vancouver's transit system.
Transit Police partner with local municipal police forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in enforcing laws in the Metro Vancouver region. If requested, Transit Police officers will also respond to emergencies outside of transit property as would other municipal police forces.
The name change was made pursuant to the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Amendment Act 2007, effective November 30, 2007. However, references to SCBCTAPS as GVTAPS will continue to have legal effect.
Transit Police, along with other BC police forces including the RCMP, seconds officers to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia.
The Metro Vancouver Transit Police can trace its origins to the opening of the first SkyTrain line in December 1985, when the line was opened just prior to the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication (Expo 86). The Transit Security department of BC Transit was formed at this time. This new complement of security officers included 15 Special Provincial Constables (SPCs). SPCs did not carry firearms, but did carry pepper spray and batons. As the transit system grew, so did the scope and responsibility of these peace officers. In 1999, as the responsibility of transit and transportation on the south coast of British Columbia was reassigned to TransLink (Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority), they became the SPCs new employers.
Initially, the SPCs contacted the Vancouver Police Department and, later, the New Westminster Police Department when they needed to query persons and vehicles. As their needs grew, they earned their own access to police databases and records, getting the attention of the provincial government. The BC government recognized that the SPCs were never initially meant to enforce drug laws or enter into criminal investigations but saw the need for same. SPCs did not have authority to enforce drug laws under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Police Enforcement) Regulation. The police services division of the government re-iterated that the SPCs authority was limited to transit property, and they could not stop suspects fleeing from a separate crime scene or intervene in incidents occurring just outside SkyTrain stations.
In 2003, the BC Association of Chiefs of Police supported TransLink's application to have a Designated Policing Unit under the newly created section of the Police Act. Over the next couple of years, the necessary processes took place, and the Transit Police became operational in December, 2005. Many of the SPCs stayed on, after completing the full training at the Police Academy at the Justice Institute of British Columbia to become full constables.
In November 2007, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority was renamed as South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority pursuant to the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority Amendment Act 2007, and the police force followed suit.
The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Board (SCBCTA Police Board) is responsible for the governance and oversight of the SCBCTAPS. The board is responsible for appointing officers, including the Chief Officer and Deputy Chief Officer, approving finances and the budget, and establishing policy. Unlike other BC municipal police forces, the Police Board only has appointed members and does not have any democratically elected member (whereas mayors in other police boards act as the chair).
Their numbers have remained steady since 2010, at 167 sworn officers. The most senior officer is Neil Dubord, Chief Officer of the Transit Police. The Transit Police report to the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Board.
Inter-Regional at Risk Youth Link (IRAYL) - Transit Police have been working in close partnership with IRAYL since 2008. IRAYL is a unique partnership/youth outreach program that provides support and resources to marginalized youth, founded in part by a Transit Police officer, formerly a youth worker. The team comprises experienced youth workers who work in and around SkyTrain and Canada Line stations to provide youth with access to much needed services, like shelters, social services, food banks, counselling, recreation and youth centers, as part of a cross-regional crime reduction initiative.
In 2012, IRAYL in conjunction with Transit Police and the Ministry of Children and Family Development was awarded the Premier’s Innovation & Excellence Awards Program.
Collingwood Community Policing Centre - Transit Police entered into an agreement with Collingwood Community Policing Centre, a Vancouver Police Department CPC, to serve in public outreach and education for the Transit Police.
Surrey Crime Prevention Society - In 2015, Transit Police began a partnership with Surrey Crime Prevention Society called Transit Watch where volunteers proactively patrol transit hubs in the city of Surrey, BC. 
As the only transit police force in Canada, there was concern by transit employee unions and interest groups when the decision to arm members was made. The province and BC Association of Chiefs of Police agreed that their designation as police would require the issuance of firearms.
News reports in April 2008 alleged the misuse of Tasers by Transit Police members. It was reported that officers used the Tasers on offenders for the mispayment of transit fares. A 2010 inquiry found that the incidents of taser usage by the Transit Police were legally justified, given the offenders were actively resisting or assaultive toward police during an investigation.
In recent years, arguments have been made that the Transit Police is not an effective use of TransLink's funding or police resources, as one of their primary duties is checking transit fares and issuing tickets. Reports from both sides argue reasons for the existence of police on an urban transit system, and whether a different policing model would be more effective.