Vancouver’s community court could serve as a good model for a proposed Downtown Eastside czar, Chief Const. Jim Chu said Thursday.

“Right now, we’re all following a discipline-based approach where health does their own thing, mental health does their own thing, police do our own thing,” Chu said.

“We need to change from a discipline-based approach to a client-based approach.”

Vancouver’s new community court, Chu said, uses a judge to bring collaborative agencies together and hold them accountable.

“But what about the people that actually don’t commit crimes? Should we have to arrest someone to get them into this holistic wrap-around approach?”

The Vancouver Police Department released a discussion paper Thursday that called for the creation of a “director for the most vulnerable people” to co-ordinate services in the Downtown Eastside.

The czar, Chu said, should be the level of a deputy minister and a “strong and focused leader who can guide our efforts and ensure accountability with measurable results.”

Housing Minister Rich Coleman did not return calls to Metro on Thursday.

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