Houghton’s last hurrah
Ever wonder how many raccoon and cougar attacks there have been in the city?
Or how much money is thrown in to the city’s fountains and whether police are tracking the amount taken by thieves?
Those are a couple of the odd questions Sgt. Lindsey Houghton was asked over his three-plus years as one of the Vancouver Police Department’s media liaison officers.
The questions, for the record, were posed by journalists.
Houghton mentioned the requests a couple weeks back on his final day in the VPD’s media unit—which means no more 3 a.m. phone calls from reporters asking why a cop car is…parked on a street.
Or no more questions from Ukrainian television crews here for the Olympics wondering why Houghton wasn’t dressed in red serge and didn’t have a horse.
Houghton’s new assignment is spokesman for the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, where he will likely be taking fewer media calls at a more reasonable hour and performing other duties.
Before Houghton mentioned some of the “highlights” of his time in the media unit, Police Chief Jim Chu said a few words in praise of Houghton’s calm demeanor in handling difficult stories.
“Congratulations on your new assignment and thanks very much for your four years of contributing to the stories we’ve shared with the public,” the chief said at the Cambie Street precinct.
Then he presented Houghton with a special gift.
a) A golden microphone?
b) Red serge?
c) A horse?
None of the above would be the right answer.
After all his time at the microphone, enduring all those hard-hitting questions in scrums during the Olympics, Occupy Vancouver, the Stanley Cup riot and being wakened in the middle of the night by us nocturnal nattering nabobs of negativism, Houghton was awarded with a…cheap, plastic razor?
Apparently, Houghton is more prone to developing an 11 o’clock shadow than the more common 5 p.m. face sprouting.
“Every four hours he needs to shave,” the chief said. “And that’s a comment of admiration because I need to shave every two days.”
According to Houghton, the running joke around the office was the pepper spray holder on his belt actually contained an electric razor.
Probably not as helpful though in a cougar attack. And, of course, there’s the safety hazard of the razor going off in the water when investigating the latest fountain caper.
Heed on weed
Speaking of VPD cops moving on to other assignments…
Remember Kash Heed?
Yes, the former VPD superintendent-turned West Van police chief-turned B.C.’s solicitor general-turned soon-to-be retired backbencher.
Maybe you heard last week that Heed joined the Stop the Violence B.C. campaign that calls for marijuana to be taxed and regulated.
“The taxes resulting from a regulated cannabis market could support our most important public programs, including health and education,” Heed said in a statement posted on Stop the Violence’s website.
Heed’s move is not surprising, considering he spoke publicly years ago about the need for the feds to spend less of its drug strategy money on enforcement. He also pushed for more debate on decriminalizing drugs.
What’s surprising is that Heed is backing the campaign as a sitting politician, unlike the list of his predecessors who dared not to call for the decriminalization of marijuana when they were in office.
Hello Geoff Plant, Ujjal Dosanjh, Graeme Bowbrick and Colin Gabelmann.