VANCOUVER Police Deputy Chief Steve Rai has been chosen the President of the BC Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police that represents 13 police forces across the province.
Rai becomes the first South Asian officer to hold the post. He was also the first South Asian officer to be appointed Vancouver Police Deputy Chief in 2015.
The police forces Rai will be representing are Vancouver, Victoria, New Westminister, Abbotsford, West Vancouver, Port Moody, Delta, Nelson, Oak Bay, Saanich and Central Saanich as well as Metro Vancouver Transit Police and the First Nations Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police.
Rai said: “I accept the role with respect and great purpose as there are many public safety demands our communities are grappling with.”
He added: “Collectively, the BCAMCP police chiefs will continue to ensure our strategies and resources are focused on common solutions. And, when necessary, our Association will be strong advocates for legislative changes on behalf of our citizens.
RAI has been a member of the VPD since 1990. He was born in Punjab, India, and raised in Vancouver where he graduated from Kitsilano Secondary School.
Before joining the VPD, Rai was a Canadian Forces Reserve member and attended the University of British Columbia where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian Studies. He also obtained a Master of Arts, Criminal Justice, from the University of the Fraser Valley.
Rai was a patrol constable in District 3 for eight years. His duties included field training and mentoring new police officers. He also drew on his cultural background to work extensively, at the street level, with the district’s South Asian community. He also completed assignments in the Vancouver Police Jail, as a Recruiting Unit Investigator, and a secondment to the former Coordinated Law Enforcement Unit.
He completed a second operational tour in District 1, including managing the Davie Street Community Police Office, where he partnered with local community leaders, business owners and volunteers to address neighbourhood crime and order issues.
In addition to his regular duties, Rai completed a number of concurrent assignments including 10 years as an Emergency Response Team Hostage Negotiator, six years with the VPD’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team and three years with the Forensic Interview Team, utilizing his Punjabi second-language skills.
Rai was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2003 and returned to District 3 as an operational supervisor. In 2004, he was transferred to the position of Sergeant-in-charge of the VPD Recruiting Unit. During this assignment, he led a highly motivated team of investigators in fulfilling the department’s mandate of hiring a large number of police officers, jail guards and traffic authority members. His team was successful in attracting numerous new exempt police officer applicants while also hiring many Aboriginal, ethnic, and female recruits through community outreach and mentoring of young future officers.
Rai was then redeployed as an operational Sergeant in District 2. He was promoted to the position of Inspector in the Human Resources Section following this assignment. He returned to District 3 in February 2012. Rai was promoted to Superintendent, Personnel Services, in July 2014.
Rai sits on numerous local and national committees. In 2006, he was the only Canadian police applicant to be selected for the US State Department’s International Leadership Development Program that brought together police leaders from throughout the world.
Rai is the recipient of a Chief Constable’s Commendation for “courage and professionalism” and two Chief Constable Unit Citations. In 2013 he was the recipient of the Khalsa Diwan Society Exemplary Community Service Award.