- This event has passed.
No Cops On Outreach
January 26, 2017- 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Victoria PD has asked Victoria City Council to add $240,000 to the $52 million/year police budget, to embed 2 more officers in ACT mental health teams. ACT clients have not been asked if this is something they want or how it will affect their safety and access to mental health services.
An ad hoc coalition is encouraging people to write letters and attend the Council meeting to speak out against cops as mental health workers. Cops being part of ACT teams criminalizes people with mental illness, contributing to stereotypes of people with mental health concerns as dangerous and out of control. We feel that “helping” is incompatible with having the power to surveil, detain, arrest, and forcibly confine people against their will. Additionally the building where ACT teams are located is the proposed location for a supervised consumption site, so more cops will make it less safe for people to access those much needed services.#NoCopsOnOutreach!
To speak at the Council meeting, this form needs to be completed before 11 AM Wednesday January 25: http://www.victoria.ca/
To write letters to Council: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
and please post here for inspiration!
This call for action is the start of a wider campaign that is coming together to defund policing and put that money into REAL solutions to problems in our communities. We believe that real safety comes not from surveillance and criminalization of marginalized people, but rather building community-based prevention and response strategies. We’re inspired by creative solutions emerging in other communities such as the CAHOOTS mental health crisis response team, the Audre Lorde Project’s Safe Outside the System prevention/response to anti-LGBTQ violence, People’s Community Medics, and many more.
Recently VicPD released their Mental Health Strategy, which purports to create gentler police response to mental illness while simultaneously entrenching myths that people with mental illness, especially those who use drugs and alcohol, are dangerous and need a police response. Relying on the police ignores the real harms done by police, promotes the deskilling of our communities in preventing and responding to mental health crisis, and makes people fearful of coming forward if they need assistance for fear they will be forced to engage with cops.
Our communities can do better. We look forward to your ideas!
Relevant VicPD documents:
* VicPD 2017-18 Provisional Budget: https://vicpd.ca/sites/
* VicPD Mental Health Strategy: http://vicpd.ca/