Saanich won’t bid to police Esquimalt

RCMP, Victoria Police Department still in running to police Esquimalt

Saanich Police Department will not submit a proposal to police Esquimalt.

In a letter to Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins dated April 11, Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said his municipality’s police service could not draft a proposal that met Esquimalt’s requirements for policing the community of 16,000.

“We feel contracting the full spectrum of police services is not consistent with our community-based policing model and might compromise the high-quality police service Saanich residents enjoy now,” Leonard wrote.

On March 3, Esquimalt issued a request for proposals on a policing model for the township to the Victoria Police Department, Saanich Police Department and RCMP E division.

 

 

Esquimalt has been policed by VicPD since 2003 after its own force amalgamated with Victoria’s.

 

 

In 2009, the police services branch of the Solicitor General’s Ministry audited Esquimalt’s contract with VicPD. It found the level of service good, but also gave the township leeway to explore other policing options.

 

 

A law enforcement advisory board formed in August last year to help provide direction for policing the community. Esquimalt spent $45,000 on the task in 2010.

 

 

Desjardins said Esquimalt residents like some aspects of the current policing model, but are looking for changes.

 

 

In forums and open houses, residents communicated a desire for a community-based policing models with more officers on foot patrol and a police department building open 24-7 in Esquimalt.

 

 

 

 

The Victoria police board and the RCMP E Division both confirmed they would submit a proposal.

 

 

Esquimalt is seeking a 10-year contract with a five-year renewal option.

The township currently pays about 15 per cent of VicPD’s $42-million budget.

ecardone@vicnews.com

 

 

 

The timeline

• March 10 – Police bodies confirm receipt of RFP

• March 17 – Site meeting with Esquimalt council, advisory board

• April 20 – RFP closes at 2 p.m.

• May 16 – Advisory board makes its recommendation to council

• June 30 – A report on preferred policing options goes to Solicitor General’s Ministry

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