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Posts Tagged "transit"

1Oct

Transit Police issue arrest warrant for man wanted in 2 violent robberies | CBC News

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An arrest warrant has been issued for a man wanted in connection with two violent chokings and robberies.

Police say suspect Andrew Krizmanits, 42, may be headed to, or currently in, Eastern Canada or possibly the Sunshine Coast.

Krizmanits, of no fixed address, is well known to police. He has been charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempting to choke to overcome resistance.

On the morning of Aug. 18, police allege Krizmanits approached a 45-year-old man riding a bus headed toward the Marine Drive Canada Line station. According to police, he befriended the man, followed him off the bus, asked him for a cigarette and when the victim refused, tackled him and placed him in a headlock until he lost consciousness.

CCTV at Vancouver’s Stadium SkyTrain Station recorded a suspect before he is alleged to have taken part in a violent robbery. Transit Police say the man is responsible for two thefts in which he put his victims in a headlock, choking them until they were unconscious. 0:17

Upon regaining consciousness, the suspect asked the victim to buy him a drink at the Marine Drive Canada Line Station store, but when the victim entered the store, police say Krizmanits stole his phone and fled on the train.

Police say the second robbery occurred late on Aug. 20 when Krizmanits started a conversation with a 26-year-old man at the Stadium SkyTrain Station.

He grabbed the man when he tried to leave, placed him in a headlock and choked him until he was unconscious before stealing his wallet and credit cards .

Metro Vancouver Transit Police say they are “very concerned by the level of violence Krizmanits is willing to use.”

He is described as a Caucasian or Indigenous man, between five feet eight inches and five feet 10 inches tall with a stocky build and short brown hair.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Transit Police at 604-515-8300 or text them using code 87-77-77 and refer to file 2019-15236.

 

12Sep

Metro Vancouver Transit Police looking for suspect in 2 violent robberies | CBC News

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Metro Vancouver Transit Police are searching for a suspect who allegedly committed two robberies in August, choking each victim until they became unconscious.

In both incidents, the suspect approached and began conversations with the victims before placing them in a headlock and robbing them, according to a Transit Police news release.

Early on the morning of Aug. 18, police say the suspect approached a 45-year-old man riding a bus headed toward the Marine Drive Canada Line station. According to police, he befriended the man, followed him off the bus, asked him for a cigarette and when the victim refused, tackled him and placed him in a headlock until he lost consciousness.

Upon regaining consciousness, the suspect asked the victim to buy him a drink at the Marine Drive Canada Line Station store, but when the victim entered the store,  police say, the man stole his phone and fled on the train.

Police say the second robbery occurred late on Aug. 20 when the suspect started a conversation with a 26-year-old man at the Stadium SkyTrain Station.

The suspect grabbed the man when he tried to leave, placed him in a headlock and choked him until he was unconscious.

Watch: Robbery suspect caught on video before his alleged crimes

CCTV at Vancouver’s Stadium SkyTrain Station recorded a suspect before he is alleged to have taken part in a violent robbery. Transit Police say the man is responsible for two thefts in which he put his victims in a headlock, choking them until they were unconscious. 0:17

The victim’s wallet was stolen and his credit card used to make a $400 purchase at a convenience store.

The suspect is described as a Caucasian or Indigenous man in his late 30s, between five feet eight inches and five feet 10 inches with a stocky build and short brown hair.

Transit police say the level of violence used by the suspect is concerning and ask anyone with information about his identity to contact them at 604-516-7419 or by text message at 87-77-77.

11Aug

No access: what happens to transit users with disabilities when the elevators aren’t working | CBC News

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Port Moody resident Micaela Evans takes the SkyTrain and the West Coast Express commuter train everyday to get to her job in Vancouver as a communications coordinator at a non-profit that helps people with spinal cord injuries.

Typically, Evans’ daily commute to the Spinal Cord Injury BC office in South Vancouver takes her just over an hour each way.

Evans, 24, uses an electric wheelchair, so if an elevator breaks down at a SkyTrain station, or is undergoing maintenance, the delay can add an extra half hour each way to her commute. Sometimes, these elevator outages can occur several times a month.

“I have a job like anyone else, I just want to be able to get to work and be there on time,” Evans said in a phone interview.

 

She isn’t the only disabled person who has faced delays when an elevator is out of service at a SkyTrain station. Justina Loh, executive director of Disability Alliance B.C., said other people who rely on elevators because they have disabilities have complained about delays when an elevator is out of commission.

At times, Loh said staff and volunteers have arrived late for work because they’ve had to wait or because they’ve had to reroute themselves to get to work in a different way. 

“I would say it’s a pretty big issue,” Loh said.

Evans, who said she thinks TransLink’s overall service is good, said the company posts alerts on their website and Twitter to warn users when an elevator will be under maintenance. But she says the wording of these alerts are vague and puts the onus on the person with the disability to figure out a Plan B.

“They just kind of expect you to figure out how the heck you’re going to get to the next successful station,” Evans said. 

She said she’d like to see more support staff at stations to provide help, adding she’s noticed a reduction in services.

2-train commute

Each work day, Evans boards the West Coast Express at Moody Centre Station and disembarks at Waterfront. She then transfers to SkyTrain’s Canada Line and takes the train to Marine Drive station. 

She has spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement.

Micaela Evans, pictured here, says when the elevators break down or are under maintenance, it can add an extra half hour each way to her commute. (Micaela Evans )

TransLink spokesperson, Jill Drews said when the transit authority has scheduled elevator maintenance at one of its SkyTrain stations, it attempts to provide users with a minimum notice of three days, which it relays through tweets and on its website.

If a customer arrives at a station and isn’t aware of the outage, they can request a TransLink assistant to call a taxi, which will take them to the next station with a working elevator.

Regular elevator maintenance is necessary, Drews said. Under B.C. safety regulations, TransLink must inspect each elevator in the system once a month. There’s also a yearly inspection that’s more in-depth and can take multiple days. 

“You can imagine how catastrophic it could be if a fault, you know, trapped a customer or led to injury. That’s just not something we can risk,” Drews said. 

Loh pointed out TransLink was one of the first systems to implement the Universal Fare Gate program which uses sensors so people who can’t physically tap a Compass Card can have the fare gates open for them. 

Elevator sign at Granville Skytrain Station in Vancouver. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

But, Loh said there are still barriers for people with disabilities when it comes to taking public transportation. 

“I would say, one, it’s either just too congested, and there’s a lack of understanding and empathy from other transit users,” Loh said.

Drews said TransLink’s policy states it must have to have an attendant present when the only critical elevator to access the platform is out for maintenance or repairs. She also said the company tries to schedule maintenance during non-peak hours but there’s an industry shortage of qualified elevator technicians. 

Drews said TransLink isn’t able to offer as much money as other companies, so in order to stay competitive, it schedules technicians during daytime, meaning the work is conducted during commuting hours.

9Aug

Committee recommends money for HandyDART, affordable transit fares in 2020 B.C. budget

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The HandyDART service made 1.3 million trips last year.


RICHARD LAM / PNG

Public transit could receive a boost in the next B.C. budget, if the provincial government heeds the advice of an all-party finance committee.

The select standing committee on finance and government, which conducted public consultations across B.C., released a report this week with more than 100 recommendations for the 2020 budget, including six for transit and transportation.

In the interest of making transit more accessible for people with disabilities, the committee said the province should increase funding to expand HandyDART, a door-to-door shared ride service.

“(The committee) acknowledged the importance of HandyDART for increasing accessibility and supporting inclusion,” the report said.

Beth McKellar, co-chair of the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance, said the recommendation is important because the service is in high demand and desperately needs more funding, despite Metro Vancouver’s regional transit authority having added more service.

HandyDART’s ridership has been on the rise for the past five years, and delivered 1.3 million trips in 2018.

“We’re just a wee tiny blip on the radar, but I’m pleased this all came out and I’m hoping that they do the right thing. I always have that little bit of hope,” McKellar said.

The committee made a similar recommendation for the 2019 budget, calling for “increased and sustained” funding for HandyDART services.

Although funding was allocated in the last budget to B.C. Transit to expand bus and HandyDART services in four communities over three years, Metro Vancouver was left out, to the dismay of advocates and the region’s mayors.

“It was good that the Island got it, that B.C. Transit got it, but we need it a lot more over here,” said McKellar.

In recent years, TransLink’s Mayors’ Council has argued that the province should help pay for HandyDART because the majority of trips are related to health services, such as dialysis, and said there should be a long-term, sustainable funding model for the service.

The committee also recommended that the province work with local governments and transit authorities “to explore new pricing mechanisms to help make public transit more accessible for youth and low-income families.”

“We think this is an excellent recommendation and we urge the government to follow through on it,” said Viveca Ellis, a community organizer for #AllOnBoard.

#AllOnBoard has advocated for free transit for all children and youth up to and including 18 years old, and a sliding-scale monthly pass system based on income for all transit systems in B.C.

“We know that affordability is an important part of our current government’s mandate, and as communities and many, many community members have brought forward to us transit is not affordable for many British Columbians,”

The Mayors’ Council has also discussed free transit for youths, but believes the province needs to be involved on the funding side to offset fare revenue losses. Victoria will offer free transit to all youths who live in the city in a pilot project starting in September.

On the transit side the committee also recommended working with public and private operators to address gaps in regional transportation services — particularly in rural and remote areas — and prioritizing faster deployment of electric buses in cities, including expensive charging infrastructure.

In the area of active transportation, the committee said the province should invest in walking and biking infrastructure, education and promotion, as well as eliminate provincial sales tax on electric bicycles.

In a statement the Ministry of Finance said it is “in the process of reviewing the report in detail and considers all proposals, including recommendations brought forward by this committee, during the yearly budget process.”

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15May

Rapid transit under Burrard Inlet rejected two years ago as impractical

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The provincial government’s announcement this week of a $500,000 feasibility study into a fixed-link rapid transit connection across Burrard Inlet to the North Shore has rekindled interest in a popular idea that one former mayor says had been briskly discarded not long ago as being too difficult and too costly.

In 2017, Darrell Mussatto, the former mayor of the City of North Vancouver, told Postmedia he had spoken to TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond about doing a “high-level feasibility” study on replacing the SeaBus with a fixed-link crossing between Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay.

On Wednesday, Mussatto said that while the idea had some support at the time, nothing much came of it. As he recalled, it was set aside after a “quick and dirty look” due to cost considerations and perceived engineering difficulties due to the depth of the inlet in that area. He could not recall any report having come out on the issue.

TransLink was unable to meet a request for comment Wednesday.

Mussatto said he was “very happy” to hear that the province planned to study the idea more closely.

“When you’re the mayor of a small city and you’ve got Vancouver and Surrey there, their priorities tend to trump ours. So that’s why I’m really happy to see that they’re now moving ahead with looking at whether it’s feasible or not,” he said.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will put up $250,000 toward the study, with the District of North Vancouver and the cities of North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Vancouver contributing the remainder. The study is slated to conclude early next year.

To date, “no comprehensive feasibility study has been completed to fully assess what viable options there may be for a potential rapid-transit crossing across the Burrard Inlet to the North Shore,” according to the ministry, although there was preliminary geotechnical work completed in the 1960s that looked at a Brockton Point connection.

The study will examine the technical feasibility of various alignment and connection options, according to the ministry.

West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy, the transportation critic for the B.C. Liberal party, said he believed there was a great business case for rapid transit to the North Shore.

“We feel that in any assessment, all options, all possibilities, need to be explored to some degree,” he said.

A working group for the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project released a report last summer that considered, as part of a broader analysis, the idea of rapid transit between the North Shore and Burrard Peninsula, in the vicinity of either the Second Narrows or the SeaBus route. The analysis found “ridership would be low” on such an eastern link “because of the dispersed development it would serve.” But it found a western link connecting Lonsdale City Centre with the SkyTrain in Downtown Vancouver would attract strong ridership.

“Some of the new transit ridership would come from a shift from automobile use, but most of the increase would be from new trip patterns. For example, a North Shore resident who shopped locally might shift their activity to downtown because of improved transit accessibility and vice versa,” the report found.

The group found a rapid transit connection would have “little impact” on bridge congestion, but that it may lead to increased transit use by existing commuters.

Further study on the idea would be made as TransLink fleshes out a new regional transportation strategy it has dubbed Transport 2050, according to the report. That strategy is slated to be a roadmap for transit projects over the next three-plus decades.

Erik Eberhardt, a geological engineer and professor at the University of B.C., said there are many examples in places like Norway of tunnels akin to one that would cross the Burrard Inlet.

“It always comes down to cost-benefit ratio and technical challenges,” he said of the project’s feasibility.

On the question of costs, Eberhardt threw out the figure of up to $2 billion, given the increased risks of tunnelling under water, among other considerations.

Looking at the geometry from Downtown Vancouver to the North Shore, “you’ve got a steep decline to stay in good rock and you’ve got a sharp incline,” but something like a SkyTrain may be able to handle that profile, he said. The Canada Line under False Creek was a relatively small-scale project, but effectively used the same technology and skill sets as would be needed for a Burrard Inlet crossing, he said.

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14May

A SkyTrain to the North Shore? B.C. studying rapid transit across Burrard Inlet

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CTV News Vancouver


Published Tuesday, May 14, 2019 1:09PM PDT


Last Updated Tuesday, May 14, 2019 1:27PM PDT

The B.C. government has announced it will explore rapid transit options between downtown Vancouver and the North Shore in response to the worsening congestion on the routes connecting the two areas.

“Our government recognizes commuters on the North Shore are frustrated with congestion,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said in a statement. “With this feasibility study, we’re exploring potential solutions that help people move around more easily, which will improve quality of life.”

Adding transportation options across Burrard Inlet is one of the several recommendations put forward in the Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project led by North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma.

“Traffic congestion is intricately connected to issues like housing affordability,” Ma said. “Over the years, the high cost of housing has forced people to move further from the places they work, resulting in longer commutes and serious traffic issues. This feasibility study is an extremely exciting addition to the many initiatives we have implemented so far and continue to work on to get the North Shore moving again.”

An INSTPP report from August 2018 recommends “evaluating the benefits and costs of, and conditions for rapid transit between the North Shore and Burrard Peninsula, connecting to the regional rapid transit network, and focusing on connecting Lonsdale City Centre with Vancouver’s metropolitan core.”

A rapid transit option in the vicinity of the current SeaBus route would likely lead to the largest increase in ridership, the report added.

“Some of the new transit ridership would come from a shift from automobile use, but most of the increase would be from new trip patterns,” the document read. “For example, a North Shore resident who shopped locally might shift their activity to downtown because of improved transit accessibility and vice versa.”

While INSTPP did not discuss specific types of transportation that could link the two areas, it did say “municipal partners have stated a preference for ‘rail’ rapid transit.”

According to the report, widening the Lions Gate and Second Narrows bridge is “not possible due to structural limitations,” and the idea of a third bridge isn’t part of any current transit plans for the region.

There are also no plans to replace either bridge in the near future.

The government also said the study could consider an expended passenger ferry service across Burrard Inlet.

The province says it will work with TransLink and local governments to look at the feasibility of various options plans for future land use in the area.

The study is expected to get underway this summer.

INSTPP’s full report follows. Viewing this on our mobile beta site? Tap here to see a compatible version.


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3May

TransLink launches consultation on 30-year regional transit plan

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Kevin Desmond is the CEO of Translink.


Jason Payne / PNG

For the next four months, TransLink will be asking those who live and work in Metro Vancouver for their ideas for how the region’s transportation system should be developed over the next 30 years.

It will be the largest public engagement in the transit authority’s history.

“We want to hear from people across the region, of all ages and backgrounds,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond in a news release.

“Regardless of how you get around, we want to hear from drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users. With Metro Vancouver experiencing rapid growth, the impacts of climate change, new technologies, and shifting demographics over the next 30 years, we want input from the broadest cross-section of people possible.”

The 30-year strategy, called Transport 2050, will lay out the region’s transportation vision, strategies and priorities. Previous regional strategies were adopted in 2013, 2008 and 1993.

The outreach campaign will involve soliciting feedback from those living in the 23 jurisdictions in Metro Vancouver and adjoining regions; meeting with First Nations, students, multicultural communities and new Canadians; and roundtables with elected officials, businesses, accessibility groups and the goods movement sector.

There will also be exhibits at public events and social media campaigns.

People will be asked about their values, concerns and priorities, ideas about the future of transportation, key issues affecting the region, and opinions on new modes of transportation.

“Transport 2050 is a great opportunity for people to have their say on decisions that will help shape communities and the Metro Vancouver region for many years to come,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson in a news release.

The public engagement will last until September, after which staff will evaluate the ideas and, in late 2020, create the final plan.

Take the survey at Transport2050.ca.

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20Feb

B.C. Budget 2019: Discounted transit fares, HandyDART funding absent

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Two initiatives that could make transit Metro Vancouver more accessible and affordable were missing from Tuesday’s provincial budget.

The region’s mayors have been advocating for funding for HandyDART, the door-to-door shared-ride service for people with disabilities, and a break on transit fares for people with low incomes and youths.

“We would have liked to have seen those programs included in this year’s budget,” said New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté, who chairs the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.

For the past couple of years, both the council and TransLink, the regional transportation authority, have argued that the provincial government should help pay for HandyDART.

TransLink has invested money in expanding HandyDART service as part of its 10-year regional transportation plan, and made some changes following a review to improve the quality of service.

However, Coté said the majority of HandyDART trips are related to health services, such as dialysis or specialist appointments, and seeing some investment from the Ministry of Health would make sense.


Viveca Ellis, a leadership development coordinator of the B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition and All On Board campaign coordinator, wants free transit for youth and reduced fares for others.

PNG

“We think there is an argument to be made that there should be better support through the provincial government, just like the provincial government mainly funds those services throughout other parts of the province,” he said.

“That’s been a longstanding issue that the Mayors’ Council and TransLink have advocated for better support there.”

The budget did include some extra money for transit — and HandyDART — improvements, but for communities outside Metro Vancouver. It adds $21 million over three years for B.C. Transit to expand bus services in 30 urban and rural communities and make improvements to help seniors and people with disabilities.


LISTEN: This week on the In The House podcast, Mike Smyth and Rob Shaw discuss the 2019 BC NDP government budget – was it a prudent NDP spending plan or a missed opportunity to get its agenda done?

We also discuss the CleanBC plan, BC Green leader Andrew Weaver’s budget response and the BC Liberals struggling to define themselves within the budget debate.


A spokesperson for the HandyDART Riders Alliance could not be reached for comment, but on social media shortly after the budget was released on Tuesday, the group called the lack of specific funding for HandyDART “disappointing.”

Coté said he hopes increasing demand for HandyDART service will prompt more serious conversations with the province about a long-term, sustainable funding model so that TransLink can continue to provide the service.

Providing discounted transit passes for people with low incomes and free transit for youths under the age of 18 has been discussed around the Mayors’ Council table, Coté said, and such initiatives have been adopted in other major cities.

“I think the Mayors’ Council is very interested in the idea, but it’s something we strongly feel would be most appropriately funded through a provincial poverty reduction strategy,” Coté said.

Such a strategy was outlined in the budget, but details about the specific programs therein were not released. It’s expected that the public will hear more in the coming weeks.

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Viveca Ellis, campaign organizer for #AllOnBoard, has been lobbying for a regional plan and provincial funding for making transit affordable and accessible for all people in the region.

“In the budget documents and the information that we have right now, we didn’t see anything specifically related to transit affordability and accessibility to transit for low-income people in the TransLink service region or any other region,” Ellis said.

“We’re looking forward to the release of the poverty reduction plan and seeing what will be addressed there in terms of affordable transit.”

Coté said the Mayors’ Council will move forward by formalizing their position on reducing transit fees for low-income earners and youths this spring.

“We do expect continued discussions on that regard there and hopefully future inclusion in budgets in coming years,” he said.

The budget did follow through on promised funding for major transportation infrastructure projects, including the Broadway subway line, for which $1.12 billion has been allocated over the next three years. The total cost of that project is $2.83 billion.

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4Feb

Shot transit cop to undergo surgery

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The Metro Vancouver transit cop who was shot while working in Surrey is scheduled to have surgery later this week.

Transit Police Const. Josh Hams, 27, was injured when he was shot at the Scott Road SkyTrain Station Jan 30.

Harms was taken to hospital but later released. 

Daon Glasgow, who was wanted in connection with the shooting, was captured early Sunday morning in a large police operation after a four day manhunt led them to a Burnaby house in the 7500 of Boundary Road.

The nature of the confrontation between Harms and Glasgow has not been released, nor has any information about Hams’ injury.

According to Transit Police spokesman Sgt. Clint Hampton, Harms insisted on going into work over the weekend to speak in-person with his troop mates.

“That was something that he wanted to do on his own. He felt it was important for his colleagues to see him walking and talking … to know that he will recover,” said Hampton. “Obviously he’s got a long road ahead.”

Harms’ wife is expecting the couple’s first child in about a month.

He has a family connection to his employer. Father-in-law Mike Cumberworth is Metro Vancouver Transit Police’s deputy chief of operations.  

The Surrey RCMP has released this composite of Glasgow’s many looks. (Surrey RCMP)

According to Hampton, the approximately 100 members of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police carried out close to 900 warrant arrests in 2018.

Glasgow was out of prison on statutory release and wanted on a warrant for being unlawfully at large at the time of the shooting. 

Glasgow previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a fatal 2010 shooting that took place during a drug deal in a McDonald’s washroom, only blocks from where Harms was shot. 


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4Feb

Shot transit cop undergoes surgery

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The Metro Vancouver transit cop who was shot while working in Surrey is undergoing surgery today for his undisclosed injuries. 

In a statement, Const. Josh Harms said he thanks God his injuries were not worse. 

“Though I have a long road ahead, I am going to make a full recovery and rejoin my colleagues as soon as possible,” he said. 

The 27-year-old was shot while on patrol at the Scott Road SkyTrain Station Jan 30.

Harms was taken to hospital but later released with non-life threatening injuries.

Daon Glasgow, who was wanted in connection with the shooting, was captured early Sunday morning in a large police operation after a four day manhunt led them to a Burnaby house in the 7500 of Boundary Road.

Traffic Const. Josh Harms and a furry friend in an undated Facebook photo. He and his wife are expecting their first child in March. (Facebook)

The nature of the confrontation between Harms and Glasgow has not been released, nor has any information about Hams’ injury.

According to Transit Police spokesman Sgt. Clint Hampton, Harms insisted on going into work over the weekend to speak in-person with his troop mates.

“That was something that he wanted to do on his own. He felt it was important for his colleagues to see him walking and talking … to know that he will recover,” said Hampton. “Obviously he’s got a long road ahead.”

Harms’ wife is expecting the couple’s first child in about a month.

He has a family connection to his employer. Father-in-law Mike Cumberworth is Metro Vancouver Transit Police’s deputy chief of operations.  

The Surrey RCMP has released this composite of Glasgow’s many looks. (Surrey RCMP)

According to Hampton, the approximately 100 members of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police carried out close to 900 warrant arrests in 2018.

Glasgow was out of prison on statutory release and wanted on a warrant for being unlawfully at large at the time of the shooting. 

Glasgow previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a fatal 2010 shooting that took place during a drug deal in a McDonald’s washroom, only blocks from where Harms was shot. 


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