Why did the Vancouver Police Union endorse Ken Sim for mayor?

Oct 7 2022, 9:52 pm

Editor’s note: This article was written by A Better City (ABC) Vancouver and submitted to Daily Hive.

They say that the first step in solving a problem is accepting that you have one.

In the case of current Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, his blind-sightedness to the realities of the danger on Vancouver’s streets has become infuriating. So infuriating in fact, that the Vancouver Police Union broke with tradition and decided to endorse a candidate for mayor in this municipal election for the first time in their history.

After weeks of consideration, the Union issued the following press release yesterday, endorsing Ken Sim for mayor:

“Public safety is the number one issue in this year’s civic election. Vancouverites are afraid to walk the streets of their neighbourhoods. Small business owners are struggling to keep their doors open… The VPU feels safety is a right — for everyone. Electing Ken Sim and an ABC majority will ensure that police and other front-line responders will have the resources they need to protect and serve Vancouverites.”

So, why did the Union decide that the time had come to get politically involved and why did they endorse Ken Sim for mayor? Because Ken Sim and the ABC team have put forward a strong, clear plan to curb the violence on Vancouver’s streets.

The reality of violent crime in Vancouver has become more than alarming. According to the Vancouver Police, there are on average more than four unprovoked stranger attacks in Vancouver every day. These aren’t late-night brawls, these are, primarily, daylight violent attacks on complete strangers. Only a few days ago, a woman was assaulted by a random stranger in broad daylight after being followed into the lobby of her apartment.

On day one, Sim plans to ask the Vancouver Police Department to hire 100 new police officers and 100 new mental health nurses. Of note, Sim has committed to the expansion of the Car 87 program, a program that pairs a police officer with a registered nurse or a registered psychiatric nurse. These teams provide on-site assessments and mental-health intervention when required during emergency situations. Sim is also looking to implement body cameras for all Vancouver police officers and return the school liaison program, bringing officers back to Vancouver schools.

Mayor Stewart has recently called Vancouver one of “the safest cities in the world,” just as Vancouverites have become more fearful of walking down the street in broad daylight. When asked, Mayor Stewart said that he feels safe in Vancouver. Ken Sim has a very different perspective on feeling safe in the city, noting that, unlike Stewart, as a visible minority, he doesn’t feel safe walking down the street anymore.

This has to stop.

Vancouverites are desperate for a solution to the increased violence and want the ability to live in a city free from the dangers of random stranger attacks in broad daylight. We are at a critical point where we need to change course and take real action.

On October 15, Vancouverites will elect a mayor, city council, and a school and park board. Perhaps the biggest question for voters going into the ballot box will be: who is going to change the trajectory of violence in the city of Vancouver?

After four years of Mayor Kennedy Stewart and a surge in violent crimes, it’s time to elect someone with a real plan to change course and get Vancouver back on track. As the police union pointed out, that person is Ken Sim.

Daily Hive

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