With over 400,000 passengers relying on our transit system daily, building resiliency in operations and infrastructure is vitally important. Transit Police work closely with a variety of partners in emergency planning, risk assessments, business continuity, proactive patrol of special events and anti-terrorism initiatives. Our plans ensure that we quickly respond to disruptions while maintaining continuous police services, safeguarding customers and supporting our municipal police and RCMP partners.
Each year, large scale events such as Canada Day and the Celebration of Light attract huge crowds to downtown Vancouver. With up to 400,000 people travelling on the transit system for one single event, the presence of Transit Police is important to ensuring public safety and preventing crime. Our officers play a vital role in policing these events in cooperation with transit partners, operating companies and police partners, by being proactive and conducting high visibility foot patrols in and around transit.
Many of these events attract families. Everyone should be able to attend events without fear of encountering disorderly behavior which is often made worse by public intoxication. Transit Police work closely with police partners throughout Metro Vancouver to restrict liquor being taken into and consumed in the downtown core and near event venues. This approach helps in the management of large crowds, reduces the risk of threatening or violent behaviour and increases public safety and security.
Transit Police works closely with TransLink, its operating companies and policing partners to enhance system resiliency through disaster planning, response coordination and frequent risk assessments. We actively participate in formal table top exercises and routinely review existing response plans and protocols to ensure their relevancy and effectiveness.
In recent years, mass transportation systems around the world have been subject to terrorist attacks, both domestic and international. There is a general threat to transit systems throughout the world and Transit Police are keenly aware of the potential impact to our system. Our aim – both in operational daily response and through strategic planning – is to reduce the risk of a terrorist attack.
Transit Police works with agencies across Canada and worldwide to share best practices and intelligence. We collaborate with each of the TransLink operating companies and our police partners to reduce trespassing on transit property.
Transit Police officers are trained to identify suspicious behaviour that may be linked to terrorist activity. We also deploy explosive scent detection dogs which play a central role in anti-terrorism and resiliency strategies. Transit Police officers and our explosive scent detection dogs work together to handle unattended and suspicious packages quickly and keep transit stations open and service disruptions to a minimum.