Simi Heer – Director of Public Affairs for the Vancouver Police Department

PFM Executive Search Welcomes New Director of Public Affairs to the Vancouver Police Department.

One of the more interesting recent projects undertaken by PFM Executive was the recruitment of a new Director of Public Affairs for the Vancouver Police Department, Canada’s highly recognized, innovative law enforcement police service

The role of Director of Public Affairs reports directly to the VPD Chief, Adam Palmer.  Through an extensive national competition led by PFM Executive Search, Simi Heer has been appointed to the post.

Simi is a strategic communications leader, with extensive experience in crisis communication, issues management, and corporate communications. As the Director of Public Affairs for the Vancouver Police Department, Simi will lead the communications strategy for the department, and provide oversight for all communications and public affairs functions of the organization.

Simi has joined the VPD after spending more than a decade at BC Hydro – Canada’s third largest electrical utility – in progressively senior communications and public affairs roles.  Most recently at BC Hydro, Simi was the manager of Media Relations and Issues Management and the lead spokesperson for the company. Simi and her team developed and implemented the media and issues strategy and dealt with news media from all regions of the province. She led communications for a variety of issues and corporate initiatives, ranging from power outages and electricity rate increases, to promoting conservation programs and highlighting billion-dollar capital projects. One of Simi’s career highlights at BC Hydro was dealing with the aftermath of the 2015 windstorm – the worst storm in the company’s history.

In 2008, Simi won an IABC Gold Quill merit award as the editor of BC Hydro’s employee magazine. Simi studied communications at Simon Fraser University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

PFM Executive Search has worked with the VPD on several executive search projects over the years and is recognized as a leader in its work with law enforcement and emergency services organizations here in Canada.

Our search firm provides outstanding facilitation of large and diverse Search & Selection Committees in our work with private, public and not-for-profit organizations. The hallmark of success for PFM Executive Search over the last 24-years has been our ability to develop a strong working relationship with Boards and Selection Committees in creating a seamless process that nets proven results for our clients.

Vancouver’s New Police Chief – Adam Palmer

After an extensive and national search process, PFM Executive Search brought forward a diverse slate of qualified candidates for the role of Chief Constable with the Vancouver Police Department. After much deliberation the Vancouver Police Board announced that they had chosen a new chief constable to lead the Vancouver Police Department. He is 28-year veteran VPD Deputy Chief Adam Palmer.

“We are confident that Chief Constable Adam Palmer will continue the progress of his predecessor Chief Constable Jim Chu, striving to make Vancouver the safest major city in Canada and further enhancing the reputation of the VPD as an excellent police service.” said the Chair of the Vancouver Police Board Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Retiring Chief Constable Jim Chu says he is looking forward to a smooth transition.

“I am very pleased that we were able to choose a new chief internally and grateful to the eight members of the police board for their careful deliberations. I will work with the new chief with the goal of making the transition as smooth and soon as possible.”

A date for a formal change of command ceremony will be announced shortly.

Deputy Chief Adam Palmer was born and raised in the Vancouver area. Prior to joining the VPD, he studied business administration at Simon Fraser University and worked as a correctional officer. Deputy Palmer began his career with the VPD in 1987 and since that time has worked in a variety of operational, investigative and administrative areas.

He spent the first 13 years of his career working as a patrol officer in East Vancouver. He has also worked in the Jail, the Crowd Control Unit, the Gang Crime Unit, the Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia, Police/Crown Liaison and the Planning, Research and Audit Section.

As a sergeant, he was extensively involved in the development of the VPD’s Strategic Plan and managed a long-term review of policing operations at the VPD. The Operational Review project examined topical policing issues including the use of overtime, the civilianization of sworn positions, shared services with the City of Vancouver, and the deployment of patrol, investigative and administrative police resources. The Operational Review resulted in improved departmental business practices and the addition of 194 police officers and 95 civilian staff positions between 2005 and 2007. This research attracted interest from across North America and abroad. Deputy Palmer has been invited to speak to other police agencies and international police conferences on the methodology and findings of this project.

As an inspector, he was the officer in charge of Patrol District 2 which included the Downtown Eastside, Chinatown, Gastown, Strathcona, Grandview-Woodlands and Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhoods. He was also responsible for port and marine policing for the City of Vancouver, the largest port in Canada. During the 2010 Winter Olympics – Deputy Palmer was seconded to the Integrated Security Unit as the Venue Commander for the Pacific Coliseum where he oversaw the security for the figure skating and short track speed skating events.

Upon promotion to Deputy Chief in 2010 he was assigned to the Support Services Division where he was responsible for Planning, Research and Audit, Professional Standards, Human Resources, Training, Recruiting, the Jail, Information Management, Information Technology, Communications, Fleet, Facilities, and Finance. He is currently assigned to the Investigation Division where he is responsible for all investigative areas of the VPD including Major Crime, Special Investigations, Organized Crime, General Investigations, Forensic Services, Tactical Support and Youth Services.

Deputy Palmer has completed numerous policing and professional development courses throughout his career. He holds a B.A. (Hons) and has completed two executive leadership programs with the FBI: Leadership in Counter Terrorism and the National Executive Institute. Deputy Palmer sits on the Metro Vancouver Transit Police Board and the Criminology Advisory Committee for Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He is the recipient of nine VPD commendations and is a former Police Officer of the Year. He has been invested as a Member of the Order of Merit for the Police Forces by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada.