Tuesday, August 19, 2008

 

With Battershill, a vast shift took place ...

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BATTERSHILL MADE NEEDED CHANGES

Times Colonist
Letters to the Editor -
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I work with individuals who are homeless, substance users, work in the sex trade, mentally ill, HIV+ and have many more issues.

I worked with these people before and after Paul Battershill came came to Victoria as police chief. With Battershill, a vast shift took place throughout the department. Officers no longer referred to clients in derogatory terms. The gap between clients and police became less complicated. The change was incredible.

Extreme changes occurred in attitudes in the department. Police looked at those living off the avails of sex trade workers and "johns," instead of only stigmatizing workers.

Changes transpired about substance use. Battershill experienced Vancouver and how this "throw away" population can end up. I witnessed him and other officers working to prevent that.

When I lodged a complaint for clients involving an officer or "bad date," it was taken seriously. An acknowledgement response came immediately, with updates. Before Battershill, bad date reports or complaints against officers were often refused.

He was extremely approachable. He walked city streets, taking time to talk to business owners, panhandlers or finding somewhere for an intoxicated individual to spend the night.

He always supported and attended many causes, including community occasions, fundraisers and controversial events.

I'm not alone in saying that Battershill will be missed enormously.

Karen Dennis
Victoria

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Times Colonist update - August 21, 2008:

Watchdog to release info on Battershill investigation
Commissioner says he'll provide public with 'a basic general understanding'

Rob Shaw
Times Colonist - Thursday, August 21, 2008

http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/story.html?id=654fed56-a00a-46cc-a1d1-111b43532a22

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Comments:
Hi Mary

I sincerely hope that others will write letters to the papers and maybe feed more information to you on this matter.

I don't doubt that this is related in some way to the Raids.
 
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Karen,

Your message is very much appreciated.

Many thanks.

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Another officer quit this week to join a mainland department. They even made him a senior officer. We must have set a record this year for officers quitting and joining other pd's.
 
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Anonymous 8:12,

Thanks.

Is there an URL for a news source on this?

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Hi Mary, he quit and went to West Vancouver as an Inspector. His name is Wayne Giesebrecht. I think he starts this week. It might be in the papers over there.
 
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Gee. He just quit VicPD? and was snapped up for Superintendent by West Vancouver?

Thanks for reporting this. Will keep watching for more details.

I'd sure like to know where Paul Battershill is, and what the future holds for him.

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