Vancouver Police have decided not to fund raise for United Way this year.

Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry learned of this decision after writing to the Vancouver Police Board on Sept. 22/09 requesting that they put an end to Vancouver Police fundraising for United Way.  Initially, COPP received an email from Rachelle Radiuk, Executive Director of the Police Board stating that the request would be discussed in camera by the Police Board at their next meeting on October 21, 2009. But on Thursday, October 1, 2009, COPP received a second email from Radiuk stating:“I just received a copy of a letter sent from the Vancouver Police Union to the United Way confirming that the Union would NOT be participating in United Way fundraising this year as they will be promoting their own charity….”

That was the same day the post, “Vancouver Police Asked to Stop Fundraising for United Way due to Alleged Illegal Favors“, appeared on BNN outlining trouble that had resulted from the VPD-United Way partnership.

For years, COPP has been criticizing the conflict of interest inherent in the role of Vancouver Police as a fundraising arm, sometimes through payroll deductions, of a private charitable organization which they could be called upon at any time to investigate. COPP alleges that this conflict of interest relationship paved the way for United Way to recruit police to press a woman not to release a report that she and others had written critical of practices funded by United Way.  The woman was allegedly subjected to tactics including fabricated evidence, libel, and dictation of her confidential medical records over the telephone to a police constable by an anonymous contact person at the Health Authority. There is a paper trail to support these allegations.

Although the woman — her name cannot be released to avoid contributing to the dissemination of libel allegedly attached to her name by the VPD and United Way — was pleased to learn that the VPD will no longer act as “bag men” for United Way, this decision does nothing to rectify the damage already done. For years, the woman has been attempting to get the extensive libel and and unlawfully released medical records expunged from the police report.

In 2008, she addressed a letter to the new VPD Chief, Jim Chu, requesting that he deal with this issue, only to later discover that he was personally extending the conflict of interest relationship with United Way.  In 2008, he arranged to present United Way with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle as a gift from the VPD.  According to City records, Chu personally lobbied City Council to get this gift of a decommissioned Harley approved. “That’s time he could have spent working on my case,” says the alleged victim.  The only work he appeared to do on her case in 2008 was to arrange for an aid to respond to her letter, calling her “vindictive” for attempting to clear her name.

In COPP’s written request to the Police Board to end VPD fundraising for United Way, this name-calling coming from Chu’s office was mentioned. It was called “sexist”.  COPP has since informed Radiuk that a separate complaint about this issue will be submitted to the Police Board.

Even though United Way and the VPD will no longer be cooperating in fundraising, there is one area where the woman would like to see them start cooperating: helping her get libel and illicitly accessed medical records expunged from the police report. They worked together to create this smear and they should work together to get it expunged, she argues, adding that police acknowledged that this was “not a criminal matter” in their report. “If United Way got behind me on this, they could get their lawyer to talk to the VPD, and we could get it done,” she says.

That may not happen any time soon. When she asked current United Way CEO Michael McKnight on August 24, 2009 to work with her on getting it done, he snapped, “Take it up with the Chief!” That would be the Chief who dismissed her as “vindictive” for pursuing the issue.

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