In Memoriam: Superintendent Bill Spearn


William (Bill) Spearn

It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that we must notify you that our dear friend and colleague, Superintendent 1775 Bill Spearn, has passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Bill passed away peacefully while in hospice care in Langley. Bill leaves behind his loving wife, Vanessa, their two daughters – Hailey and Julia, and other dear family members and many close friends within the policing community

Bill was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in August of last year. He immediately underwent a surgical procedure and started chemo and radiation therapy. While being treated, Bill remained positive, brave, and steadfast attending the B.C. Law Enforcement Memorial and Remembrance Day ceremonies. Throughout his treatment, he was very grateful for all the support from his many friends and colleagues from the Vancouver Police Department, CFSEU and beyond.

Bill grew up in Terrace and after high school attended the University of Victoria. Prior to starting with the Vancouver Police Department, Bill worked as a BC Provincial Correctional Officer and was a Reserve Constable with the Victoria Police Department. He started his career with the Vancouver Police Department on April 10, 1996, assigned to Class 63. Upon graduation, he worked in Patrol assigned to Districts 4 and 2 before taking an assignment in the Drug Unit. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2011 working assignments in BET, PSS, OCU and on secondment to CFSEU. He remained in OCU when he was promoted to Staff Sergeant in 2016. In 2017, Bill was promoted to Inspector and continued his work on OCS for three years before being promoted to Superintendent and returning back to CFSEU in 2021 as the Deputy Operations Support Officer. He was passionate about working on large-scale organized crime investigations and making a significant difference in our communities.

During Bill’s service with the Vancouver Police Department, he became an accredited Team Commander and court recognized drug expert. He studied the decriminalization of illicit drugs as a member of the CACP Global Studies Program travelling to the UK, Spain and Portugal. In 2019, Bill was the recipient of the H.B. Spear Award, an international award given to those involved in law enforcement who have demonstrated balanced regard for the needs of enforcement and human compassion. Bill was a respected police leader locally, nationally and in the international policing community with contacts from all over the globe.

We owe a great debt of gratitude for Bill’s contribution to the Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being as a Contributing Editor, Reviewer, and Author. His passion, dedication, and expertise will be sorely missed. The Journal will pay tribute to the contributions that Bill has made to the fields of decriminalization of illicit drugs and humanitarian policing in a special editorial later this year.

We send our deepest sympathies to all those whose lives were touched by Bill’s friendship, leadership, and kindness.