Victoria Police Board wary of moving too fast on recommendations

Mediator's report on relationship between Esquimalt, VicPD and board prompts lengthy discussion

The Victoria Police Board will ask for help from the Police Services Division of the Ministry of Justice in moving forward with recommendations made in mediator Jean Greatbatch’s 34-page report, A Framework for Effectiveness released late last month.

“They’re the one group missing,” board member Joan Kotarski said during a July 10 discussion of the report, which outlined steps to improve the relationship between Esquimalt and the Victoria Police Department.

Police board members also encouraged the municipalities of Victoria and Esquimalt to formally request assistance.

“We’re certainly going to need the assistance from the provincial government on this,” agreed board chair, Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin. “The leadership by the province is going to have to continue.”

Under the Police Act, the Police Services Division is responsible for ensuring adequate and effective levels of policing and law enforcement through a variety of measures and oversights.

“I had some concerns with some of the things that are written in there, in terms of accuracy,” said board vice-chair, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins. “They’re giving us four months to get this down right in the middle of the summer.”

It’s not fair to the municipalities or the board to “move forward with the warp speed that’s being asked,” she added –  The board came to a compromise and agreed to “accept in principle the inaccuracies” in the report cited by Desjardins and others.

“I think our job today is to receive the report,” said board member Karen Kesteloo. “The second part of our job is to develop a plan. We need to identify that we have a certain time frame.”

A deadline of Oct. 31 was given by Justice Minister Shirley Bond to have initial recommendations in place.

One recommendation called for a framework agreement for governance and funding of the department to be created by a leadership group including the mayors, Chief Const. Jamie Graham, key municipal staff, the police department comptroller and a member of the police board.

“I think there’s stuff in here we need to look at further to decide what we need to do,” said board member Lindalee Brougham. “Will we truly have a voice as we move forward? Because that’s been part of the frustration … we haven’t been part of the negotiations or the prior contract.”

The “do it right, not fast” method proposed by Brougham won out after an hour-long discussion.

The board, not always in agreement on the process, compromised to receive the report, request an appointment from Police Services, ask the two municipalities to make a similar request and meet as a board to develop a response to the report.

The board also identified Brougham and David Johns as possible appointees to that leadership group. A date was not set for the follow-up meeting.

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Name change for board to match department name

Among mediator Jean Greatbatch’s recommendations to Justice Minister Shirley Bond was that the Victoria Police Board be renamed the Victoria & Esquimalt Police Board. Such a move would match the name change for the department and would be reflected in plans and budgeting for changing the department’s communications materials – plus car decals and uniform shoulder flashes – within six months.

Just Posted

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Saanich Police receive another report of a cougar sighting

The big cat was spotted in the area near Saanich Road and Blanshard Street

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read