Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has released the following statement in recognition of National Police Week:
“I ask British Columbians to join me in acknowledging National Police Week. Since 1970, National Police Week has been celebrated as a way for police to connect with their communities and to increase awareness about the services they provide.
“Let’s recognize the dedicated work done day and night by our British Columbia policing partners. Our government acknowledges the need to modernize and ensure the sustainability of policing and public safety. Work is well underway by the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act, which will be tabling its recommendations in spring 2022. I know that police in B.C. welcome the work of the all-party committee, which will make recommendations to the legislature on how B.C.’s Police Act can be updated to reflect today’s increasing policing challenges and needs.
“From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, police officers throughout British Columbia in all communities have stepped up with their public safety partners, such as fire departments, B.C. ambulance services and 911 operators to work tirelessly on the front lines to keep us safe. Their commitment to our communities is exemplary and very much appreciated.
“The past months and weeks have been extremely challenging for police – public shootings, gang warfare and being shot at by suspects have raised these concerns to an entirely new level. Every day, police officers put on that uniform and go to work, and every day they are putting their lives in jeopardy. These brave people choose to put the safety of the public and their communities ahead of their own safety. Their families experience it too each day when their loved one walks out the door. But as RCMP Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald recently said, ‘The current challenges only strengthen their resolve to work together, to collaborate, to share intelligence and expertise among all policing agencies in B.C. and elsewhere to bring these criminals to justice.’
“But their work is more than responding to calls and investigations. Officers also work with youth to educate them and keep them out of gangs and even help them get out of the gang lifestyle. They save the lives of people who are overdosing and deal daily with people suffering with mental health issues. They need our support – not just as government, but as communities and individuals.
“Thank you to our B.C. police partners and their families who go beyond the call of duty day and night. And thank you to our police leadership who carry tremendous responsibility to keep British Columbians safe. We appreciate all of you.”