An enhanced service model for policing at the Tsawwassen First Nation is paying big dividends.
The TFN service team is a result of a contractual policing agreement between the Delta police and TFN with six police officers (one sergeant and five constables) dedicated to TFN policing.
The TFN jurisdiction includes the Tsawwassen Mills and Tsawwassen Commons shopping malls as well as residential and industrial developments.
Delta police Chief Neil Dubord said the relationship between police and the TFN is “exceptional” with both parties working together in developing overall public safety strategies.
Dubord said the service team is running at full strength, operating seven days a week, 12 hours a day, with patrol officers providing call response during off hours or if officers are tied up on a call.
A new facility is currently being renovated on TFN lands for DPD use, which will provide a district liaison office accessible to the public within the TFN community. That facility is expected to be complete by late spring.
The two malls make up the majority of calls for the TFN service team.
The team has been involved in a “Boost and Bust” project to target shoplifting, fraud and other offences that typically occur at malls. Dubord said the initiative has been a success and will be run on a regular basis to deter criminals from coming to Delta and TFN lands to commit crimes.
He said cultural awareness training is also integral to the work of the service team as much of their time is focused on community engagement, visibility and participating in events in order to build relationships with TFN members.
“The feedback from the majority of TFN has been very welcoming to the service team,” Dubord added. “Recognizing that relationships between Indigenous peoples and law enforcement can be highly strained, Delta police are in an enviable position of developing a unique and beneficial policing model for the TFN.”