Province sides with VicPD in decision to hire six more officers

The Police Services Division mandates Victoria and Esquimalt to adhere to 2018 budget requests

After months of review the province has sided with the Victoria Police Department in its request for six additional officers, after funding for the positions was rejected as a part of the 2018 budget.

The Police Services Division submitted a report to Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins to alert them of the decision.

“In light of the forgoing and in consideration of all the material put before me, I have concluded that six police officers requested as part of the 2018 provisional budget request should be included in the VicPD budget,” wrote Tonia Enger, director of Police Services. “When resource pressures exceed available personnel, what greatly suffers is the proactive and preventative work. In my view, such work is not a ‘nice to have’ but is in fact a necessity.”

READ MORE: VicPD seeks provincial review of need for more officers in wake of budget rejection

For Desjardins, the decision is bittersweet.

“I think that it is a decision that provides an opportunity for both the Police Board and the police department, because of the need in Victoria for more officers,” Desjardin said. “But it speaks very strongly that the framework agreement has not been upheld when dealing with this.”

The Victoria-Esquimalt Framework Agreement, signed April 17, 2014, outlines how the municipalities allocate police resources, essentially ensuring that when Victoria receives more officers, Esquimalt will too.

“Our statistics show that we do not need more officers in Esquimalt,” Desjardins said, emphasizing why Esquimalt vetoed the original request. “But now we’ll get extra policing regardless of if we need it or not.”

The Police Services report reprimanded the police board for not properly laying out benefits to Esquimalt in its budgetting procedure.

ALSO READ: VicPD cuts school liaison program over budget impasse with Esquimalt

On Esquimalt’s end, the township’s contributions to the new officers will be roughly $40,000 in 2019, while Victoria will cover $300,000 since recruitment of the new officers likely won’t happen until September.

In following years, Victoria will cover the majority of the portion, with an expected annual cost of an additional $667,000 in 2020 – including a one-time investment of $60,000 – and $606,000 in following years.

The City of Victoria found the timing of the decision to be a wrench in the gears as budget discussions continued Thursday morning. Finding funding for the officers proved to be a complicated process which resulted in a decision defferal until a revised budget from the police was seen.

During the committee of the whole discussion, Chief Const. Del Manak said that appointing the six new officers might not mean re-instating school liaison officers.

ALSO READ: Nine jobs at the Victoria Police Department at risk after budget decision

“I have every intent that my goal is to replace the school officers at the earliest opportunity, but that fact that council is not supporting the [2019] police budget has been a challenge,” Manak said, noting that the current stance put forward by council puts nine VicPD jobs at risk. “I’m going to have to delay putting school liaison officers back if that motion stands.”

READ MORE: Greater Victoria teachers want school liaison officers back

On Thursday morning Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth found the Police Services’ decision to be appropriate.

“Any time there is a joint partnership or agreement, you need to have a mechanism to resolve disputes,” Farnworth said. ” So, in a nutshell, you could say that sometimes the kids can’t play in the sandbox, and dad has to come in and say this is how it’s going to be.”

With files from Tom Fletcher

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Ambitious B.C. Aviation Museum need $10M to get iconic Lancaster back in the air

Volunteers flock to work on bomber, restoration expected to take 10 years

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to fall fake eagle tree at Ogden Point

Last year a fake tree was installed to try to entice eagles to stay in the area, without much success

Saanich to potentially host first hydrogen fuel station on Vancouver Island

Station proposed for corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue

Saanich to recognize Coun. Judy Brownoff for a quarter century on council

Award presentation will take place Monday evening

Langford man sentenced to 15 months for child pornography collection

Andre Mollon sentenced for posession of more than 1,000 child pornography images and 70 videos

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read