Business and Structure
There are 11 municipal police departments in British Columbia serving the following communities: Abbotsford, Delta, Central Saanich, Nelson, New Westminster, Oak Bay, Port Moody, Saanich, Vancouver, Victoria and Esquimalt, and West Vancouver.
The Police Act requires each municipal police department to have a board consisting of:
- The mayor who acts as board chair
- One person appointed by the municipal council
- Up to seven people appointed by the province
The appointment criteria and process allows municipal governments to contribute to the makeup of their police board while also distancing the boards from regular council operations. This ensures independence which is fundamental to policing in a free and democratic society.
For further information, please visit http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/Public Safety and Solicitor General/criminal-Public Safety and Solicitor General/policing-in-bc/municipal-police-boards or http://nelsonpolice.ca/
Under the Police Act, municipal police boards are required each year to determine the priorities, goals, and objectives of the department, in consultation with the Chief Constable.
Police organizations today face challenges and difficult decisions resulting from three major factors: increasing service expectations, more sophisticated criminal activity, and limited financial and human resources.
Please check the Nelson Police Department website for information on their strategic plan at http://nelsonpolice.ca/.
Police boards in British Columbia operate independently from municipal councils and the Provincial Government. Under their mandate, municipal police boards perform four main governance functions:
- Establish the municipal police department (including hiring the Chief Constable);
- Provide primary financial oversight for the municipal police department;
- Establishes policies and directions for the municipal police department;
- Manage aspects of misconduct, complaints, investigations, discipline and proceedings.
Board Responsibilities and Accountabilities
The role of the board is to oversee the provision of police services, including law enforcement and crime prevention. In short, police boards act as conduit between the community and the police.
Specifically, police board policy functions include the following:
- Establishing policies for the effective management of the police service;
- Outlining results policies and values for the service to adhere;
- Developing the annual department priorities, goals and objectives in consultation with the Chief Constable;
- Approving capital and operating budget prior to submission to the city council;
- Clarifying board/staff relationships including the appointment of the Chief Constable other constables and civilian employee; and
- Making rules, guidelines and policies for the administration of the police service, and for the efficient discharge of duties by municipal constables.
The Chief Constable is responsible for daily policing and other operational matters. The Police Act stipulates that the board shall not direct the Chief of Police with respect to the day to day operations of the police service.
Each police board is mandated to establish and operate a police department in their municipality responsible for enforcing bylaws and criminal and provincial laws, maintaining order and preventing crime.
A police board sets the priorities, goals and objectives for its police department and develops the annual police department budget. The police board is responsible for service and policy complaints related to its police department. The board strives for a fair and responsive interaction between police and the community.
The goal of the province and the municipalities is to have police boards that reflect community demographics and that consist of qualified people who have shown they can act in the best public interest.
Municipal police boards are accountable to the following groups:
To the community that they serve: Board members should develop mechanisms to acquire information and input from the community. Feedback could be sought on such items as:
- what the policing issues are;
- how well the police are carrying out their duties; and
- what changes citizens feel are needed in response to changing circumstances.
Board meetings are open to the public except for “in-camera” items.
To the police department: Through senior management, board members should let officers and civilian staff know what is expected of them and what the community wants them to accomplish. They must also act as a buffer to ensure that the police are not subject to political interference.
To the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General: Board members need to ensure that they exchange information with ministry officials on a timely basis and that they fulfil all requirements for reporting and information-sharing established under the Police Act. This includes filing of rules and minutes of board meetings with the Director, which enables the board’s decisions to be enforced.
To other oversight and coordination bodies: Such as the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, which enables the board to work collaboratively and more effectively for their departments and communities.
The individuals who make up the Board of Governors should, collectively, have the necessary personal attributes and competencies required to:
- add value and provide support for management in establishing strategy and reviewing risks and opportunities;
- effectively monitor the performance of management and the organization; and
- account for the performance of the organization.
All directors should possess the following personal attributes:
- willingness to submit to a criminal record review and personal suitability interview;
- knowledge about, and interest in, the community;
- ability to understand the complexities of policing;
- high ethical standards and integrity in professional and personal dealings;
- appreciation of the responsibilities to the public;
- able and willing to raise potentially controversial issues in a manner that encourages dialogue;
- flexible, responsive and willing to consider others’ opinions;
- capable of a wide perspective on issues;
- ability to listen and work as a team member;
- no direct or indirect conflict of interest with the member’s responsibility to the organization;
- strong reasoning skills; and,
- able and willing to fulfill time commitment required to carry out responsibilities.
Collectively, the board should comprise the following core competencies:
- operational or technical expertise relevant to the operation of the organization including:
- strategic management and organizational change,
- internal control and accounting,
- public sector administration,
- human resources,
- labour relations, and
- risk management;
- financial expertise;
- legal expertise;
- knowledge of government and the public sector environment;
- knowledge of current and emerging issues affecting the organization and its industry or sector; and
- knowledge of the community served by the organization.
While previous experience as a governor is not required, it is important that candidates for positions understand the roles and responsibilities of a member of a governing board and have the necessary experience and demonstrated skills to enable them to contribute to board decision-making and oversight.
Part of the organization’s commitment to good governance includes the provision of provide a comprehensive orientation for new board members and ongoing professional development for new members.
Within the context of the required board skills requirements, consideration is given to diversity of gender, cultural heritage and knowledge of the communities served by the organization.
There is one vacancy. As the board is entering into the strategic planning process, candidates who are, and who possess a strong sense of community would be a benefit. The board would also benefit from candidates that are critical thinkers, who will actively participate in discussions and ask questions, and those who connect with or represent the diversity of the Nelson community.
The following core competencies for prospective board members have been identified:
- Possesses the cognitive capacity to understand to the complexities inherent in policing.
- High ethical standards and integrity in professional and personal dealings;
- Action orientated has a proven track record in accomplishing goals.
- Works effectively with a broad range of situations, groups and people.
- Able to deal with difficult and complex interpersonal situations.
- Contributes to working toward consensual solutions that will enhance the output of the police board.
The board meets on the 2nd or 3rd Tuesday of the month commencing at 3:00 pm. Meetings are held at Nelson Police Department. Members should be available to meet on a monthly basis and commit up to fifteen hours a month to fulfill board duties. Members are also expected to sit on board committees in order to deal with specific issues as they arise.
Under subsection 24(2)(a) of the Police Act a person appointed to a municipal police board under section 23 holds office for a term, not longer than four years, that the Lieutenant Governor in Council determines. Under subsection 24(3) of the Act, members are limited to a term of six consecutive years.
The initial appointment is generally for a one-year term.
Police Board members are not remunerated, they serve as volunteers. Members are reimbursed for any reasonable travelling and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in discharging duties as a board member.
List of Current Governors and Senior Executives
September 15, 2016
December 31, 2017
July 21, 2011
June 30, 2017
June 30, 2016
June 30, 2018
June 22, 2012
June 22, 2018
June 22, 2012
June 22, 2018
Process for Submitting Expressions of Interest
You may submit an Expression of Interest in serving on the Nelson Police Board online by clicking on the “Apply Online Now” button at the bottom of this page.
British Columbia Appointment Guidelines
Appointments to British Columbia’s public sector organizations are governed by written appointment guidelines. For more information about the appointment process, and to view a copy of the guidelines, refer to the Board Resourcing and Development Office website (www.brdo, gov.bc.ca) and link to the page “Appointment Process”.