Richmond, BC, Canada, July 03, 2007
Kash Heed- appointed as police chief of West Vanouver- Tough on
criminals and working to control gangs
The appointment of Kash Heed as West Vancouver’s police
chief is a great news for the Indo-Canadian community. Kash is
not only a very competent police officer but also an extremely
dedicated member of the Indo-Canadian community. As a member of
the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) since 1979 he has added
a new dimension to policing.
It has been a great privilege for this writer and many others
in our community to work with Kash in addressing the issue of
gangs and youth violence in the Indo-Canadian community.
Since early 1990’s our community has lost close to one hundred
ten young men to gangs, drugs and violence. This has resulted
in a lot of anxiety and frustration for all of us. The whole community
has been devastated by these tragedies. For quite sometime, the
community was blaming the police for not doing enough and the
police was blaming the community for lack of co-operation. Finally,
having gone through denial and blaming, the community accepted
the challenge and decided to do something about it.
It was in this context, that Kash Heed, an inspector with VPD
at that time, brought a number of concerned community and various
gurdwara leaders together. This effort resulted in the formation
of Sikh Societies Of Lower Mainland( SSOLM). Soon after its inception,
SSOLM began a series of meetings with the officials who could
make a difference in this regard. The whole process started with
meetings with the attorney genera and the solicitor general of
British Columbia. This was followed by meetings with Lower Mainland’s
police chiefs, mayors, school officials, MLA’s and M.P’s.
Kash Heed was one of the driving forces and resource persons in
this on-going process.
As a result of the thrust by SSOLM, a number of initiatives were
put in place by the community, police, schools and the provincial
and federal governments. To its credit, the Indo-Canadian media
played a prominent role in this .Formation of the BC Integrated
Gang Task Force was a major accomplishment of SSOLM. The leadership
and guidance provided by Kash Heed in this regard was much appreciated
by the community. Since its formation, more than three years ago,
this Task Force has been doing a commendable job. Similarly, the
role of the Indo-Canadian media as well as various organizations
and individuals has been remarkable, especially on the prevention
All along, Kash Heed has played a prominent role both as an officer
with VPD and as concerned and active member of the Indo-Canadian
community. He has been serving as a great role model not only
for the Indo-Canadian youth but also youth in other communities.
VPD’s various innovative programs including interdiction,
encouraging more Indo-Canadian youth to join the police force
and act as a great motivator are a credit to him. He has been
playing a major role in keeping and helping our young people stay
out of trouble.
Thanks to all of these collective efforts that youth violence
in our community seems to be slowing down. Hopefully, our young
people will realize that violence or gang life is not the way
to make their mark in life. Even one life destroyed or lost is
too many. Though a lot has been accomplished yet a lot more needs
to be done. The leadership provided by Kash is appreciated very
much. His promotion as superintendent with VPD earlier and now
as police chief of West Vancouver is a matter of great joy and
pride for the entire Indo-Canadian community. Kash deserves our
hearty congratulations and best wishes in this latest challenge.
There is no doubt that he will continue to play a major role in
helping our youth in particular and the community in general.
(Balwant Sanghera is a retired School Psychologist, Community
Activist and recipient of the prestigious Order of British Columbia
Award. He heads the Richmond Multicultural Concerns Society and
can be reached at