Participation of police officers was brought into question a year ago, after Black Lives Matter Vancouver asked police to voluntarily withdraw its float from the Pride Parade, as a "show of solidarity and understanding" that officer involvement in the march creates an unsafe atmosphere for some communities.
The Vancouver Police Department and the Vancouver Pride Society have reached an agreement that will allow officers to march in the August 6 Pride Parade.
In a statement on Facebook, the Vancouver Pride Society says the deal was reached after months of negotiations.
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This petition comes after members of the Black Lives Matter Vancouver chapter pushed previous year for the VPD to voluntarily withdraw all uniformed officers from the parade. "Embracing the institution in an event that originates from protest against its actions makes us justifiably uncomfortable".
This year, there will be a number of changes for the police department to march in the parade.
RCMP and VPD will walk alongside Ambulance and Vancouver Fire members, mixed in with city staff rather than in specific groups.
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Only 20 per cent of the officers, including those officers visible in the community, will walk in uniform.
On the other hand, there were also members of groups who had experienced racially motivated police brutality who wanted the VPS remain in the parade. "The VPD will participate in VPS-facilitated listening circles, both before the parade and year-round, where community members can share their stories with police in an accessible and supportive environment". "Supporting Vancouver's LGBTQ2S+ community goes beyond just the parade. We will continue to enhance our existing outreach, education, and awareness efforts year-round to help the community thrive and feel safe", says VPD Staff Sergeant Randy Fincham.
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