Biography: William (Bill) Spearn

William (Bill) Spearn

Bill Spearn earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Victoria and worked as a Reserve Police Constable and a Corrections Officer before starting his career with the Vancouver Police Department in 1996.

Bill has spent most of his career involved in drug, gang and organized crime enforcement. The first five years of his career were spent working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood before being assigned to the Drug Squad in 2001. In 2006, he was seconded to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia (CFSEU-BC), an integrated anti-gang police agency made up of members from every police department in B.C.

Bill returned to the VPD in 2010 and worked as a Detective in the Criminal Intelligence Section. He was promoted to Sergeant and returned to the Downtown Eastside in 2011 to supervise a Beat Enforcement Team.

In 2012, Bill was assigned to the Professional Standards Section. He transferred to the Organized Crime Section in 2014 where he remained until 2020 after being promotion to Staff Sergeant in 2016 and Inspector in 2017.

Bill is a Provincially Accredited Major Case Team Commander and a court recognized drug expert. He studied the decriminalization of illicit drugs in 2019 as a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) Global Studies Program. He has presented at conferences, meetings, workshops and has been interviewed and consulted extensively on illicit drugs, drug decriminalization, the opioid crisis, drug policy, drug treatment, safe supply, harm reduction and organized crime. More recently, he has worked with the Pompidou Group, the Council of Europe’s drug policy cooperation platform on the role of police in drug prevention.

In 2019, Bill was the recipient of the US based Drug Policy Alliance H.B Spear Award, given to those in law enforcement who have demonstrated a balanced regard for the needs of enforcement and human compassion. He was promoted to Superintendent in 2021 and is currently seconded to CFSEU-BC as the Deputy Operations Support Officer.