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.
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.
The following are the attributes sought for the positions currently under consideration:
- Residence and/or business interests in the municipality served by the board;
- Governance expertise;
- Human Resources expertise;
- Financial expertise;
- Legal expertise;
- Knowledge of current and emerging issues affecting public safety;
- Knowledge of the community served by the local police department;
- Strategic management and organizational change;
- Communications experience;
- Internal control and accounting experience;
- Technology experience;
- Public sector administration;
- Labour Relations experience;
- Risk Management knowledge;
- Indigenous representation;
- Community outreach; and
- Those who identify as a minority, either through ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other.
Experience and Qualifications
While previous board experience is not required, it is important that candidates for positions understand the roles and responsibilities of a member of a 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 a comprehensive orientation for new board members and ongoing professional development for new members.
Diversity and Inclusion
Consideration will be given to qualified individuals with a broad range of backgrounds in community, labour, and business environments. The selection process will recognize lived experience and volunteer roles as well as paid employment and academic achievements.
To support strong boards that reflect the diversity of our province, women, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (LGBTQ2S+), and others who may contribute to diversity in public sector board appointments are encouraged to put their names forward for appointments.
Members should be available to meet on monthly basis and commit 40 hours or more per month to fulfil board duties. The new Board will establish its regular meeting and committee meeting schedule. Members may be required to sit on committees or panels, as needed, 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.
New Board members are appointed to one-year initial terms in order to assess their fit and suitability.
Board members are volunteers. The board will be responsible for establishing its remuneration policies. Some police boards pay their members a stipend, called a per diem, to cover incidental expenses incurred during their Board duties.
Police boards in British Columbia operate independently from municipal council and the Provincial Government. Under their mandate, municipal police boards have four main governance functions as follows:
- 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; and
- 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:
- Establishes 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;
- Approves capital and operating budget prior to submission to the city council; and
- Clarifying board/staff relationships including the appointment of the Chief Constable other constables and civilian employee;
- 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 inform sworn-in and civilian staff of 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 of Police Services, 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 should, collectively, have the necessary personal attributes and competencies required to:
- add value and provide support for management in establishing the police department, its strategy and reviewing risks and opportunities;
- effectively monitor the performance of management and the organization; and
- account for the performance of the department.
All directors should possess the following personal attributes:
- 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;
- able and willing to fulfill time commitment required to carry out responsibilities;
- may include personal attributes relevant to organization; and
- commitment to continuous learning about the organization and the relevant sector or industry.
Process for Submitting Expressions of Interest
You may submit an Expression of Interest in serving on this board by clicking on the “Apply Online Now” button at the bottom of this page. For more information on the board, refer to the Directory of Agencies website. For information on the Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office (CABRO) refer to CABRO website.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) – The personal information on this form is collected for the purpose of administering a variety of statutes that authorize the appointment of individuals to public sector organizations under the authority of section 26(c) of the FOIPPA. Questions about the collection or use of this information can be directed to the Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 604 660-0465.