Jamie Graham

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This article is about a Canadian chief constable. For the current Minister for Health of Papua New Guinea, see: Jamie Graham (politician).
Jamie H. Graham
12th Chief Constable of the Victoria Police Department
In office
January 1, 2009[1] – December 31, 2013
Preceded by Bill Naughton
Chief Constable of Vancouver
In office
August 22, 2002 – August 14, 2007
Preceded by Terry Blythe
Succeeded by Jim Chu
Personal details
Born Belleville, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Spouse(s) Gail Graham
Occupation Police

Jamie Graham, O.O.M. is a former chief for the Victoria Police Department.[2] He previously served as the chief constable of Vancouver, British Columbia from August 22, 2002 to August 13, 2007. A former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, Graham's five-year contract with the Vancouver Police Department was not renewed. His time as chief there ended on August 22, 2007.

He is a supporter of numerous charities including the Law Enforcement Torch Run, Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Foundation, Cops for Cancer, Canadian Blood Services, Owl Society, Covenant House and Salvation Army to name a few. He is also a member of the British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association’s Lay Inquiry Pool.

Personal life[edit]

Graham was born in Belleville, Ontario. The son of a Canadian Army colonel, he lived in Halifax, New Delhi, and Quantico, Virginia. He attended King’s College, a boarding school in Nova Scotia.[3]

He and his wife, lawyer Gail Graham, have been married 27 years and have no children.

Policing career[edit]

Graham was a 34-year veteran of the RCMP when he was hired as Vancouver’s chief constable. He was chosen for the job over a field of competitors for that included Larry Campbell, who became Graham’s boss as Vancouver’s mayor, and eventually a Canadian senator. Graham was chief superintendent of the Surrey RCMP detachment from 2000 to 2002, and before that commanded the North Vancouver detachment from 1992 to 2000.[4]

Graham was popular with his officers while chief of the Vancouver Police Department, and improved morale during his tenure. Former Vancouver mayor Philip Owen noted "He's a cop throughout, and that's what the members of the department like. They like a strong leader."[3] Many officers describe him as the best chief in the history of the department.[4]

In his role as chief constable, Graham was an active member of a number of policing and community organizations. He was a member of the by-law committee of the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), and sat on the executive committee of the Criminal Intelligence Service Canada and the board of governance of the Combined Forces Special Investigation Unit. He took on a leadership role in the “Tier 1 Strategy” against outlaw motorcycle gangs. A former president of the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP), Graham chaired its gaming and mental health committees, and represented the BCACP on the board of the Integrated Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team. He was also a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade. Other organizations he has worked with include the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the North Vancouver Restorative Justice Society, the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation.[5]

Graham established public affairs and marketing sections in the department, the public relations branch for the police force.


The Governor General, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, appointed Graham a member of the Order of St. John on December 15, 2006.[6] On January 6, 2010, Graham was appointed as an officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (O.O.M.). A ceremony in Ottawa followed on May 26, 2010.

Controversy and criticism[edit]

Graham and his department have been the subject of controversy during his term. The Georgia Straight newspaper has criticized Graham for being too entrenched in traditional police culture to effectively respond to problems of misconduct.[4]

In January 2003, three men were beaten by police officers in Stanley Park. Graham recommended that six officers be charged in connection with the assault. He later fired two of them and imposed the maximum suspensions under the Police Act to the other four after they plead guilty to the charges.[3]

Pivot Legal Society published To Serve and Protect: A Report on Policing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 2002, which documented approximately 60 affidavits from people regarding police misconduct. Pivot also filed a number of complaints against the VPD with the Police Complaint Commissioner (PCC), Dirk Ryneveld. After an internal investigation by the Vancouver Police and the RCMP, no criminal allegations were found or substantiated. Two officers received minimal discipline for what was determined to be minor policy violations. In 2005, Ryneveld issued a report stating, "What we do know is that RCMP ultimately reported the very regrettable circumstance of a lack of cooperation on the part of 'certain VPD members,' also incidents of non-responsiveness by the police chief himself."[7] Mayor Sam Sullivan dismissed the non-cooperation complaint in May 2007, stating partly that there was no practical way to discipline a retiring police chief. Ryneveld overruled him, demanding that a further investigation take place.[7] Graham strongly denied obstructing the RCMP in any way, referring people to his published report on the matter. The new investigation was conducted by Jim Cessford of the Delta Police Department.[8] In his report, Cessford wrote that "Chief Graham did not fully exercise his authority in ensuring that his members cooperated [with the RCMP] as required." Although Graham did not actively obstruct the RCMP investigation, Cessford concluded that he did commit, "through his inaction, the Code of Conduct offence of Discreditable Conduct."[9] The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner reviewed and accepted the report's finding of discreditable conduct,[10] but did not see anything to warrant a public inquiry into the matter.[11]

During the 2005 municipal elections, Graham had Sam Sullivan, then a candidate for mayor, investigated for his admission that he had given money to addicts to buy drugs and allowed one to smoke crack in his van. An editorial in the Georgia Straight attacked the investigation as a political move.[12]

Graham and the Vancouver Police Department have expressed support for the principles behind Insite, Vancouver's controversial safe injection site, which has drawn criticism from conservative groups and the RCMP. Noting that "our organization's [the VPD] primary responsibilities are safety and public order", Graham has supported any project that falls within the laws of Canada.[13]

In April 2006, RCMP investigators exonerated Graham from allegations of misappropriating funds related to a 2004 police conference.[3] An employee had alleged that Graham and other police executives used complimentary hotels rooms during the convention.

In July 2006, Graham left a bullet-riddled shooting range target on the desk of city manager Judy Rogers.[14] On the target, Graham wrote: "A bad day at the range is better than the best day at work."[14] He later apologized to her for the incident.[3]

In January 2012, the Honourable Jakob S. de Villiers rendered final judgement of misconduct against Graham for comments made to media surrounding protest events during the 2010 Olympics. This was Graham's second conviction under the police act [15]

In February 2012, Graham admitted guilt for "neglect of duty" under the police act, for unsafe storage of a loaded handgun under the seat of his car and received a reprimand for his misconduct.[16]


  1. ^ New Victoria Police Chief facing controversy
  2. ^ Jamie Graham Named New Chief of Victoria Police Department
  3. ^ a b c d e Larry Pynn, “Archives: Jamie Graham’s time as chief of police” in Vancouver Sun, June 14, 2007. Retrieved on June 23, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Shannon Rupp, Urban General in the Georgia Straight, December 1, 2005. Retrieved June 23, 2007.
  5. ^ Office of the Chief Constable
  6. ^ Canada Gazette Archived 2013-05-22 at the Wayback Machine., Vol. 141, No. 17 — April 28, 2007. Retrieved June 23, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Jonathan Fowlie, with a file from Frances Bula "Watchdog orders probe of police chief," June 15, 2007. Retrieved June 23, 2007.
  8. ^ Carlito Pablo, "Mayor has "open mind" in police re-review,", Georgia Straight, August 30, 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2007.
  9. ^ CBC News, "Former Vancouver police chief faulted for discreditable conduct", 23 October 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  10. ^ Carlito Pablo, "Ex-police chief Jamie Graham guilty of misconduct", Georgia Straight, 23 October 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  11. ^ Carlito Pablo, "Ex-top cop Jamie Graham cleared by commissioner", Georgia Straight 16 October 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  12. ^ Chief sends a warning to Sam Sullivan Georgia Straight, December 1, 2001. Retrieved June 23, 2007.
  13. ^ Mike Howell, "Keep safe injection site open-chief," Vancouver Courier, May 26, 2006. Retrieved June 23, 2007.
  14. ^ a b Canadian Press July 26, 2006. Vancouver's police chief investigated for leaving bullet target on desk.
  15. ^ OPCC Office of the police complaints commissioner, January 30, 2012. Retrieved Dec 7, 2012.
  16. ^ CBC News "B.C. police chief reprimanded after loaded gun found in car"

External links[edit]

Police appointments
Preceded by
Bill Naughton
Chief Constable of Victoria Police Department
Succeeded by
Police appointments
Preceded by
Terry Blythe
Chief Constable of Vancouver
2002 – 2007
Succeeded by
Jim Chu