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New police chief to walk in Pride parade?

It remains to be seen whether Vancouver’s new top cop will take part in this year’s Pride parade Aug 5.

Deputy Chief Jim Chu was named as the successor to current Chief Const Jamie Graham on Jun 21. Graham announced he was retiring several months ago prompting a nationwide search for a new chief.

Vancouver Police Department (VPD) spokesman Const Howard Chow says it has become a tradition for the chief to march in the parade, but he does not know what Chu’s schedule is. Still, he said, Chu “would be interesting in going.”

Chu was born in Shanghai but raised in East Vancouver. He has been with the VPD for more than 25 years. The 47-year-old is currently managing the force’s operations support division. It takes care of emergency response teams, gangs and drugs units, criminal intelligence and policing for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

He beat out two other internal candidates — Deputy Chief Bob Rich and Superintendent Kash Heed — for the position as police chief. Heed was named chief of the West Vancouver police department last week.

Chu was appointed to head the VPD by the city’s police board, chaired by Mayor Sam Sullivan.

Xtra West had requested an interview with the new chief but VPD media relations says he will not speak to any reporters until he is officially sworn in as chief this August.

Chow says Chu is keen to retain the Chief Constable’s Diversity Advisory Committee. Several queer people sit on the committee, including Davie Village bar owner Vance Campbell. “He may tweak it a certain way but the core and the main ideas will keep going,” Chow says.