Downtown Eastside reacts to Vancouver cop's arrest
News of Peter Hodson's arrest spread quickly on Thursday in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, the neighbourhood where he allegedly dealt drugs on duty.
On Wednesday, Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu announced Hodson had been charged with trafficking drugs, breach of trust, and break and enter with the intent to commit extortion – and that the former constable had been fired.
Many Downtown Eastside residents said they were both pleased and surprised to hear of the department disciplining one of its own.
"That's wonderful," resident Stephen King said. "It reconfirms that maybe there is some justice."
Even critics like the Pivot Legal Society approved of how police handled Hodson's case.
"He's being made an example of, and it's good to have those types of examples out there," founder John Richardson said.
Richardson added he would like to see officers strongly disciplined for "harmful" offenses, and not just "relatively benign" ones like selling marijuana.
Retired police officer Al Arsenault, who patrolled the Downtown Eastside for years, said the move to fire Hodson this week was in line with public expectations -- but that the entire scandal would still hurt the VPD's reputation.
"We have to regain their trust after every allegation comes out," he said.
"It's a sad day for Chief Chu and a sad day for the Vancouver Police Department overall," he said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Sarah Galashan