Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime exclusive July 17, 2016)

Cop lives don't matter


Main St/ Union St Vancouver

Various recent graffiti in Vancouver

On my way home from work this afternoon, I drove through the intersection of Main and Union Street to see the words “COP LIVES DON’T MATTER” spray painted on a blue building bordering Chinatown.

I had to stop and pause a moment to think about what I had just read. A part of me was angry, but that turned quickly into disappointment.

I drove away through the heart of the DTES towards home, my eyes wandering the streets. As I drove through each intersection, a significant memory popped into my head.

There was the coffee shop where I arrested the guy suffering from mental health issues, whom moments earlier drove a knife through a random senior’s chest because he believed he was the devil.

This was the park where on a daily basis I found people lying motionless on the ground in a pool of their own urine, so intoxicated they could barely open their eyes. Without hesitation or judgment, I lent them a hand and offered them medical attention before driving them to a place of safety with the nurses at Vancouver Detox.

This was the intersection where my partner and I stood our ground between a guy brandishing a sword and a dozen citizens he threatened to kill just minute’s prior. That was also the first time I feared for my life, drew my gun as he approached swinging the sword and I was thankfully able to convince him to put it down.

This was the neighborhood where I consoled my first murder victim, struggling to maintain dialogue with him as he slipped in and out of consciousness, until paramedics and firefighters arrived.

For first responders this is not hard to believe, but all of the above incidents happened in a matter of several weeks.

As I continued driving, memories were constantly triggered as I passed significant places. This was the building where I watched my first person commit a break and enter. This was the shelter where I located the missing sister of a long time family friend, suffering from mental illness and drug addiction, after she was presumed dead by her family. This was where we finally arrested the violent purse snatcher targeting elderly women for weeks, after watching him throw a brave 90 year old woman to the ground for the contents of her purse.

This was where I shared constant laughter with colleagues at 5am as our shift came to an end.  

And as I pulled into my house and reflected on all of these memories, I realized that every single neighborhood I passed in the City on my way home sparked a significant and meaningful memory from my policing career. Despite the different demographics of all the neighborhoods I passed, not once was my response to calls for help any different.

Not once did I consider the skin color of the person calling 911, hiding in their closet as someone broke into their house, while I raced to protect them.

Not once did I factor in the socioeconomic status of the family frantically calling 911 to report their toddler missing in a busy park.

Not once did it make any difference what the sexual orientation or gender was of the person who called 911 because they were contemplating ending their life and I had to convince them otherwise.

No matter who needed my help, every single person was treated with the same amount of dignity, regardless of their characteristics. Having worked with countless outstanding police officers over my short career, I can tell you that this sentiment is shared amongst all of us. 

Regardless of what a small percentage of the population may think, we will continue to indiscriminately serve the public and be there when you need our help, even for those who believe that “COP LIVES DON’T MATTER.”





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