Compassion and Ingenuity by Transit Police Officer Provide Alternative Solution to Criminal Charges
New Westminster – A Metro Vancouver Transit Police Officer is being praised for her compassion and initiative in dealing with a difficult suspect facing numerous problems.
On June 24, 2017, shortly after noon, a Metro Vancouver Transit Police officer received a report of a woman aggressively panhandling in the parking lot outside Waterfront Station. When the officer approached her, the woman became extremely agitated, verbally abusive and refused to leave. She then grabbed two large plants in the lot from their pots and hurled the plants on the ground. As she tried to run away, she was taken into custody and advised she was under arrest for Mischief.
The Transit Police officer spoke to the 53 year old woman at length, calming her down to the point where they could have a conversation. The woman, who appeared to be suffering from a number of issues, advised that she hadn’t eaten for several days and was very hungry and upset. She eventually apologized to the officer who convinced her to repot the plants and clean up the scattered soil, rather than face a criminal charge.
The officer then took the woman to a nearby food outlet and bought her a meal, using the opportunity to discuss options for shelter and food.
“I commend this officer for her problem solving, excellent judgment, use of discretion and for her compassion” stated Metro Vancouver Transit Police Chief Doug LePard. “We often encounter people at their lowest point. She set a great example for other officers and was able to make a difference in the life of a person in their time of need.”
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