Who We Are
The West End-Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre is a non-profit organization with programming directed at reducing crime and street disorder, and increasing personal safety in the West End of Vancouver, from Burrard Street to Stanley Park and from Coal Harbour to English Bay. With the support of the Vancouver Police Department, the WECHCPC engages and educates visitors, residents, and businesses on crime prevention planning and activities, offers information and referral services, and facilitates the interaction between the police and the community with issues related to crime and personal safety.
The map below outlines the four policing districts under the jurisdiction of the Vancouver Police Department. The WECHCPC catchment area encompasses approximately half of District 1, including Stanley Park. The remainder of District 1, the area east of Burrard, is maintained by the Granville Downtown Community Policing Centre and the Chinese Community Policing Centre. To find the nearest Community Policing Centre in your community, click here to access the Vancouver Police Department’s Community Policing Centres map.
We are located at 1267 Davie Street, between Bute and Jervis Streets. Our street-front office is easily accessible by foot, bike, car (metered street parking is available) and public transportation (Translink routes 006 and C21).
Hours of Operation
Monday 10am to 6pm
Tuesday 10am to 6pm
Wednesday 10am to 6pm
Thursday 10am to 6pm
Friday 10am to 6pm
Saturday 10am to 6pm
Please see our News & Events page for holiday and special event office closures.
In the early and mid parts of the 1990s, panhandling, theft from automobiles, and general street disorder was rampant. People who lived in the West End were tired of the increasing anti-social behaviour, so they met with the Vancouver Police Department to work together to find solutions. Although Community Policing was still in its early stages in Vancouver, it seemed fitting that an office be opened in the West End. As a result, the Davie Street Community Policing Centre opened in early July 1997. Cst. Steve Gibson, who attended the inaugural meeting with the community, was the first NPO and found the location for the first office. Shortly after opening, Cst. Warren Lemcke became the NPO, followed by Cst. Kinder Sandhu.
Initially, there were only four volunteers; Peter Symons was the coordinator and along with the other volunteers, he brought the operations to life from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday. The catchment of the CPC covered a small area from Burrard Street to Nicola Street and Beach Avenue to Nelson Street. The office was located at 1122 Bute Street in an old turn-of-the century house, part of the Mole-Hill housing complex. The house had a set of wooden walk up steps and a veranda across the entire front which wrapped halfway around the house onto the Pendrell side, with a small lawn out front with flowers. The CPC operations were located on the first floor, and it shared the second and third floors with two young women who owned a dog and two cats, and a male artist who lived in the basement. A vacant room on the second floor was used for the storage of bicycles and office supplies. Inside the first floor was a long hallway with the main office on the right hand side. The CPC reporting area was essentially the living room of the house and connected to it was a mini-kitchen with a stove, fridge, and sink. The community provided furniture which consisted of old, comfortable chairs and desks. The City of Vancouver provided a shower for the police officers to use. At the end of the hallway was a storage area that was turned into an office for the Neighbourhood Police Officer. It was a rather primitive set-up.
Originally, the office was more like a community centre than a policing centre, with its laid back atmosphere. Local citizens visited and chatted with the officers and volunteers over a cup of coffee. The large veranda attracted numerous police officers when the weather was pleasant, especially the bike patrol members who would write reports there. The number of volunteers grew rapidly as a result of the positive reputation of the Centre in the community. With the growing number of volunteers, the CPC was able to provide not only report-taking services but also deploy a foot and bike patrol service, as well as other services mandated by the Vancouver Police Department. The CPC took part in various community events such as the Children’s Festival, the Home Show, the Pride Parade, Davie Village Days, and an annual Police Day at Lord Roberts Annex School, which is now the Lord Roberts Annex Annual Sports Day. A newsletter was started, which was distributed to all businesses in the district as well as to those who dropped by the office.
With the renovation of the Mole-Hill project in 2001, Shoppers Drug Mart offered to provide an area for the CPC to use at its Davie Street location. It was a small but busy location which Shoppers renovated and provided rent free. The office was highly accessible through a set of storage room doors from the inside of Shoppers and from an outdoor entrance in the west parking lot. It was bright and more modern than the Mole-Hill office and had a bathroom, fridge, and a room for two desks. The NPO had a very small office which provided some privacy. Original CPC programming continued from this office as well as new programs such as Lock Out Auto Crime and Pooch Patrol. Cst. Brian Green, followed by Cst. Steve Rai, were assigned as NPOs during this time.
In late 2004 and early 2005, a number of Community Policing Centres throughout the city were downsized due to a lack of funding. At that time, the West End had three Centres so there was a concern that the Davie Street CPC would be closed. Instead, the West End CPC, which was located at the West End Community Centre, amalgamated with the Davie Street CPC and the relatively new Waterfront Office was closed. As a result of the changes, the Davie Street CPC had an increase in volunteers and an adjustment in the size of its jurisdiction. The new, and current boundaries, start on the west side of Burrard Street and span the entire West End peninsula, enveloping the modernized Coal Harbour and the tourist attraction of Stanley Park.
In stark contrast to the comforting eclectic feel of the West End, the Coal Harbour neighbourhood, formerly a littered railway yard, had risen to become one of the newest housing developments within Vancouver and was redesigned as an upscale, condominium high-rise district in the 1990s. Young singles were drawn to the tall buildings utilizing multi level security and secured gates, which greatly differed from the detached homes and open parkways of the West End. Modern security features that were built into the Coal Harbour area made crimes like Theft from Auto and Break and Enter harder to commit, but vagrancy, panhandling, and Commercial Break and Enter issues remain the same. Incorporating two completely different neighbourhoods under one jurisdiction would be an adjustment for the CPC and designing initiatives to integrate the Coal Harbour area into the existing programming of the CPC would become a priority for the CPC over the next few years.
In order to reflect jurisdictional changes, the CPC sought out a more centrally located office space and applied for a name change. In mid-2005, the Davie Street Community Policing Centre became the West End-Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre and shortly thereafter the office moved to 1750 Davie Street. When the lease for the WECHCPC office at 1750 Davie Street expired in mid-2006, Shoppers Drug Mart once again provided the CPC space until it was able to find a permanent location. Cst Mike Cayer joined the CPC at this time as NPO and was quickly followed by Cst Chris Smith. In mid-2007, the CPC found a new home in the heart of Davie Village, which is its present location at 1267 Davie Street. Several additional NPOs have called this office home: Cst. Cheryl Leggett, Cst. Kelly Risebrough, Cst. Romi Mattu, Cst Jennifer Luccock, and Cst Lee Marten.
Although the West End-Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre has changed names and locations, there are several volunteers who have remained dedicated to the organization since its early days on Bute Street. These volunteers see the Centre as a home-away-from-home. They enjoy spending their spare time helping the community and socializing with their friends and fellow volunteers. On the strengths of the long-term volunteers and the eagerness of the new recruits, the CPC is destined to grow stronger and continue as a crucial component to addressing the crime and safety needs of the West End, Coal Harbour, and Stanley Park.