Last July, I FOI’d records about VicPD’s school liaison officer (SLO) program. VicPD withheld info about SLOs’ training — crucial to understanding how VicPD views the program — and I've fought to get those records since. On Friday they were emailed to me. (thread) #yyj #cdnfoi
Friday’s newly released records show that training took up an additional 225 hours, according to SLOs’ quarterly reports, or about a third of all the officers’ documented time as SLOs in 2017. All of the disclosed training is listed in the third image.
Notable is that 80 hours of school liaison training — four 10-hour days, two officers — was spent at a “G-36 course” at the Malahat Range. The officers said the purpose of the training was a “Rifle operators course” and “Tactics.” Here’s a photo of a G-36 assault rifle.
In the same report that mentioned assault rifle training, an SLO said “This quarter was … filled with a large amount of professional development, which will allow us to provide higher quality service to the students and schools.” Quality service brought to you by assault rifles.
Other 2017 training: a six-hour “Patrol Tactics” course, which had an SLO “Working as an actor to facilitate use of force tactical training.” Cool and good and normal for people working with children.
SLOs spent nearly 8 times more hours on assault rifle and use of force training in 2017 than “Role modeling,” “Student at Risk” and “High Risk Student” meetings combined, which are more aligned with the types of things VicPD and others use to justify and praise the program.
The records show that at least one VicPD SLO (other online records suggest it was two) attended a three-day International School Safety Conference in San Diego.
It seems like VicPD SLOs skipped the “Optional Bonus Day” for “Top Gun Training” from David Grossman. The conference said it was “proud to feature” Grossman. Per the Washington Post, Grossman “teach[es] officers to be less hesitant to use lethal force.”
According to the Post, Grossman also says “the sex [officers] have after they kill another human being will be the best sex of their lives.” I couldn’t find an agenda for the days VicPD's SLOs attended, but the conference being “proud” to feature Grossman doesn’t bode well.
Some people might look at some of the other SLO training and think they’re things that police/SLOs should be learning about: “impartial policing”; “Road to mental health readiness”; “youth trends training”; and “learning about treaties and land claims.”
But SLOs are not inevitable, and there is no reason they should remain in @sd61schools, regardless of any training. Extensive research exists on the harms SLO programs inflict on students in North America.
No amount of training will make police mental health workers, or universal “community helpers,” which is a presentation they give young children. SLOs have the ability (and training) to arrest, harm and kill students, whether it’s at a bake sale or a graduation event.
Research also shows that Greater Victoria police target Indigenous, Black and Muslim people. There’s no reason to believe those harms aren’t replicated in Victoria and Esquimalt schools.
SLOs’ training is linked to how VicPD views the program and how SLOs perform their duties, and it's telling that they spent 86 hours on assault rifle and use of force training.
SLOs are set to return in 2020-21, with three officers earning $100,189 each. The annual cost of the SLO program is $383,220. All for something designed to make children like the police and turn them into “cooperative” adults, while also conducting enforcement. Image from TC, 85.
The reports the training info was included in are about SLOs reporting out on their work as SLOs. VicPD could say "assault rifle training wasn't about being an SLO" but that would then be about the only thing in 44 pages of reports that wasn't.
And if the response comes back "but all our officers get this training!" then all the more evidence that the police are police, not the mental health workers or student supports that SLO proponents like to portray them as.
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