Introducing Cst. Olson – Our Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast rider

Cst Eric Olson

Constable Eric Olson will be riding 800 km on his road bike along the Sea to Sky corridor and through other cities in Greater Vancouver this September as a participant in the Tour de Coast to support Cops for Cancer and raise funds for cancer research, especially pediatric cancer. We interviewed Cst. Olson to learn more about him.

What did you do before joining Metro Vancouver Transit Police?
I attended UBC in Vancouver to study Science and Kinesiology while playing Rugby for the Thunderbirds for three of my four years there. I worked several different full and part-time jobs through high school and university, including roofing, throwing hay bales, landscaping, automotive repair, and catering, before turning my eye to Policing in 2015. In the years before I started with Transit Police, I was working Security at a busy shopping centre in Surrey and for the BC Corrections Service at the Youth Custody Center in Burnaby.

What made you submit an application for the Tour de Coast?
I was inspired by Cops for Cancer all through my school years growing up. We would regularly hold fundraising events for the tour and cheer on the riders as they rode through the hallways. Cancer has touched several people close to me, and childhood cancer is the worst of all.

Also, I have trained and played sports my whole life, however have never formally “cycled” on a road bike. I loved the idea of taking on a new physical challenge and raising money for a great cause.

What are you looking forward to the most in your Cops for Cancer journey?
I’m looking forward to all the money we will raise that will support children and their families who are battling cancer, as well as funding crucial cancer research. With my science background, I found the presentation on the research they are currently conducting to be fascinating and exciting.
If you are willing/able to make a donation for this very worthwhile cause, please follow the link to my personal donation page.

What is the best part of working for Metro Vancouver Transit Police?
The best part of working for Transit Police are the people. I have a great partner and a great squad in D-East. Not everyone gets paid to hang out with their friends and arrest bad people, and I get to do both!

What is a career highlight so far?
A career highlight for me was completing the British Columbia Tactical Officer Course (ERT Basic) put on by the Abbotsford Police Department in January 2019! It was a ton of fun and I learned so much!

If you didn’t work in law enforcement, what career would you choose?
I’d like to think that I could have become a medic or pilot with the Canadian Forces, but I guess we’ll never know. I could also see myself having been a mechanic or a logger. I love working with my hands, being outdoors, and running chain saws.

How do you like to spend your time on your days off?
I love spending time riding my motorcycle, going hiking and camping, going to the gym, cooking and spending time with family and friends.

Recommend one of each: book, movie, TV show.
Book – On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
Movie – 21 Jump Street
TV Show – Forged in Fire

What’s an important topic that doesn’t get as much media attention as the mainstream ones like fentanyl or homelessness?

Organ donation. You can follow this link to register as an organ donor and also to check your status if you think you have already registered.

Video: Trolley bus wire thieves put lives at risk. Learn how to keep yourself safe

When trolley bus wires get stolen, lives are put at risk. When thieves steal the wires that are used to keep Vancouver’s fleet of trolley buses moving, they can leave dangerous live wires dangling.

If you live or work in Vancouver, particularly in one of the “hot spots” shown in the video, help be our eyes and ears.

If you see any wires dangling:

  • Do not touch the downed wire
  • Stay at least 10 meters away and call 911.
  • Report suspicious activity to police
  • Don’t approach any suspicious people yourself.
  • Call the Transit Police tip line with information: 604.516.7419 or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8474.

Together we can keep our communities safe.

Metro Vancouver Transit Police Bike At Work!

It’s Bike to Work Week but did you know Metro Vancouver Transit Police Officers also conduct patrols using bikes at work? In 2017, Transit Police launched a Bike Program pilot project following an invitation to participate in cycle training with The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) Bike Team.

Building partnerships with local jurisdictional police is integral to our Neighbourhood Police Officer (NPO) Team and training together for a full week created strong and lasting relationships. However, the project’s main goal is to increase high police visibility in the Community Service Areas, defined in our Service Delivery Model.

What is Transit Police hoping to achieve?

Adding bike patrols into Transit Police’s regular ‘on the beat’ patrol schedule supports the objectives of the Transit Police Strategic Plan, including:

  • Reduce Crime and Disorder
  • Improve Feeling of Safety for Transit Customers and Staff
  • Improve Understanding of Needs of Transit Customers and Staff in Order to Care for and Keep Them Safe
  • Protect and Assist Vulnerable Persons
  • Engage in Innovative and Efficient Methods to Anticipate Transit Growth, Social Change and Regional Community Safety Issues

Becoming more mobile has enabled our police officers to patrol to a greater extent in the surrounding areas of SkyTrain Stations and Bus loops. This has increased police presence, given our officers greater opportunities to interact with the public and also improve community partnerships with local businesses.

Riding bikes in their CSA will also help the NPOs build on their connection with Transit Operators and the Transit Security Bike Patrol team.

By the end of the summer, a total of seven Transit Police Officers are set to be cycle trained.

Learn more about the Transit Police Bike Program this Friday

This Friday, June 1, NPO Cst. Julien Ponsioen will be at Robson Square from 3pm to 6pm. Stop by to register your bike with 529 Garage for free and let your child ride a Transit Police bike.

Our partners at 529 Garage allow you to register your bike along with thousands of fellow cyclists who can keep a watchful eye on your bike if you do experience a theft.

Children will also have the opportunity to ride a Transit Police bicycle (with flashing lights!) through a course that will give them a taste of the training our officers go through. So bring your child down to become a certified junior bicycle officer.

Follow Cst. Julien Ponsioen on Twitter

Follow Cst. Bruce Shipley on Twitter

Metro Vancouver Transit Police helps young people succeed in sporting achievements through charitable giving

Support our BC Special Olympics athletes and the Polar Plunge!

Metro Vancouver Transit Police is a proud supporter of Special Olympics BC, since 2005 and has been dedicated to fundraising activities that benefit athletes with intellectual disabilities. This dedication to raising awareness through charitable fundraising events has seen Transit Police officers plunge into the freezing ocean, run up the hills of New Westminster, and putt a golf ball or two.

Every March, Transit Police staff plunge into the icy waters at Kitsilano Beach to raise money for Special Olympic athletes. The event raised over $100,000 last year alone! This is followed in May, when the Transit Police organizes a golf tournament sponsored by local businesses, and then in June as members participate in The Law Enforcement Torch Run through the streets of New Westminster.

The 2018 Polar Plunge takes place on Saturday, March 3, 10a.m at Kitsilano beach.

Consider donating to our team. All donations assist in supporting our BC Special Olympic athletes. Donate to the MVTP Polar Plunge Team.

About Special Olympics BC

Click here to learn more about Special Olympics BC: http://www.specialolympics.bc.ca/.

New Transit Police display to promote SMS text service

Check out our new display at Commercial-Broadway Station. We are promoting our non-emergency text number 87.77.77.

You can text us discreetly and in real time from anywhere on the transit system including the SkyTrain, bus, SeaBus or West Coast Express, or call us at 604-515-8300 if you have witnessed an incident, observed suspicious behaviour or if someone is making you feel uncomfortable.

Add us into your contacts, so we are always there to help. 

Policing Moving Cities conference Vancouver, May1st/2nd.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May 1st and 2nd of 2017, Metro Vancouver Transit Police co-hosted, with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, what has been hailed as a ‘watershed conference’ for transit police and community safety providers. Delegates attended from across Canada, the U.S. and England.

The conference was addressed by internationally recognized leaders in the policing of bus and rail transit systems. These included Chief Constable Paul Crowther (British Transport Police), Chief Joe Fox (New York Police Department – Transit Bureau), Chief James Spiller (Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department) and Chief Dave Jutilla (King County Metro Transit Police).

Subjects common to all transit safety and security agencies were discussed. These included sexual offending on transit, terrorism, responses to vulnerable people suffering mental illness and essential industry partnerships.

This conference was extremely important, not only with respect to the sharing of the latest information and best practices by agencies directly involved in the policing of transit systems, but also to the leaders of jurisdictional police departments that have Transit Police/Security working within their borders. A better understanding of the challenges and need for strong partnerships was clearly provided.

The conference also had an opportunity to hear from Deputy Solicitor General (British Columbia) Mark Sieben, CEO of TransLink Kevin Desmond and many others on the value that specialist transit policing brings to the dynamic environment of transit. The Chief Constable of Vancouver Police Department and RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bill Fordy also spoke to the same matter.

The conference has been applauded by many and we have already received congratulations from delegates:

“It was an exceptional conference – one of the best conferences I have ever attended”

“ … I found this to be one of the most relevant and informative conferences I have attended in quite some time.”

The resounding message from delegates was that they look forward to the next one.

Transit Police profiled in Keeping Canada Safe video

Last year, CBC’s Keeping Canada Safe spent some time filming a few members of the Transit Police as they went about their day, ensuring safety for our customers.

In under 4 minutes, the video they produced highlights just a few of the things that Transit Police do on a daily basis, including a glimpse into the role that plain clothes officers play.

To watch the video, click the following link: http://www.cbc.ca/keepingcanadasafe/features/vancouvers-transit-police

Quick Work results in Truck Thief being caught

Maple Ridge, B.C. – Mission and Ridge Meadows RCMP, along with a member of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police (MVTP) have arrested 39 year old Kevin James Vanderwal after he was allegedly seen driving a stolen pickup truck.

Around 8:20 a.m. Monday November 21st Ridge Meadows RCMP received a report of a Ford F350 pickup being stolen from a residence in the 11000 block of 236A Street during the night before.

At approximately 2:40 p.m. Monday members of Mission RCMP observed the truck travelling on Silverdale Avenue in Mission. Police followed the truck at a safe distance, and at no time did a police pursuit take place. Ridge Meadows RCMP officers were alerted that the truck was travelling into Maple Ridge.

The aggressive driving exhibited by the male driver was noticed by an off duty MVTP officer who saw the truck stop and the male driver got out and run. This officer pursued the suspect on foot, apprehending him a short distance away, and he was turned over to Ridge Meadows RCMP.

Corporal Brenda Winpenny said, “What is very note worthy is all officers involved minimized, as best they could, the danger to the public. Mr. Vanderwal is very well known to police in both Mission and Ridge Meadows and he has a long criminal record for similar crimes. Police also want to commend the actions of the citizens who assisted in the arrest, ensuring the off duty officer was safe.”

Transit Police Chief Doug LePard added ,”I am very proud of S/Sergeant Henycez for the actions he took even though off duty. Our successes as police departments often hinge on our partnerships with one another. This is an excellent example of two agencies working together to take someone who is a risk to our communities off the streets. Well done!”

Vanderwal was held in police custody, appearing in court on Tuesday (November 22) where he was remanded in custody. He is now before the courts on charges of vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, obstructing a peace officer, dangerous driving, and failing to stop for police.

British Columbia Electric Railway Special Constable to be honoured

An officer who was part of Transit Police’s origins was killed on duty over 100 years ago, and he will be honoured in September as part of the BC Law Enforcement Memorial.

 

Charles Painter was employed as a night watchman and held the office of Special Constable for the British Columbia Electric Railway Company (BCER). In the early hours of Friday, March 19th 1915 while on duty on Willow Street in Vancouver, he saw a man approaching carrying a bundle of wire. Believing the wire to be stolen, he challenged the man and arrested him. A struggle ensued and Special Constable Painter’s revolver was taken from him and he was shot in the abdomen before the suspect escaped.

 

Charles Painter succumbed to complications resulting from his wound a few days later after providing a statement to police. While contemporaneous media reports connected a man who was later brought to trial in Seattle for the murder of two people in that city, no charges were ever bought in the case of Special Constable Charles Painter. He was laid to rest in a now unmarked grave in Mountain View cemetery, Vancouver.

 

While Metro Vancouver Transit Police may only be just over a decade old it can trace its roots back to the turn of the 20th Century. Research has unearthed a great deal of information about how policing and security of the hydro lines and transit in those early days of the last century evolved into our modern day police service. We can thank Constable Graham Walker for researching much of what we know about the evolution of our organization.

 

This research included the discovery of Special Constable Charles Painter’s death while carrying out his duties. Further research showed that his death was not recorded on the BC Law Enforcement Memorial (BCLEM) Honour Roll although he qualified for inclusion.

 

Following an application to the BCLEM for the recognition of Special Constable Charles Painter, we are pleased to announce that the application has been accepted. Special Constable Charles Painter will be remembered along with RCMP Cst. Sarah Beckett at the annual BC Law Enforcement Memorial event at Brockton Oval in Stanley Park, Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 1:00pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

 

Visit bclem.ca for more details.