Victoria Police Chief Const. Del Manak says 12 more staff members are necessary to keep up with growing community needs (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria Police department seeks to hire 12 new staff members

VicPD requests $57 million in funding to keep up with community needs

The Victoria Police Department is requesting over $57 million for their 2019 budget from the City of Victoria and the Township of Esquimalt.

The total would fund updated operating costs, including continued work fighting cyber crime and adjusting to new policies, such as legalized cannabis. It would begin to pay for 11 requested additional officers and one civilian staff member, who could come in over the next three years.

“It’s important for our community to realize that they’re growing, that their needs are more than ever and that policing is becoming more complex, and crime is becoming more complex,” said Chief Const. Del Manak. “In addition, we haven’t had a staff increase since 2010… It’s unrealistic, you’ve got to grow your services with your community.”

READ MORE: Police chief’s plea for funding rejected in Esquimalt

In 2017 the VicPD requested funding for six additional officers, which was denied by Esquimalt twice.

Victoria Police took the request to the province for review. The province has the power to overpower the municipal decision, but an answer is not expected until spring 2019.

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

Since then, police senior management identified that an additional five officers, and one civilian staff member would be necessary to meet growing community needs.

Four of these officers would be part of a new Community Response Team, which would focus on Victoria’s downtown area.

“They would help us respond to the growing need from the community where people feel that there is crime and victimization in and around our most vulnerable populations,” Manak said. “The officers could be on foot, visible, and be responsive.”

These new officers would be able to work in uniform and plainclothes, and potentially be involved in investigations surrounding local drug dealers and gangs.

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

The fifth officer would work with Esquimalt’s traffic enforcement team where residents have been complaining of impaired or distracted drivers.

One civilian staff member would work as an information management analyst, who would be responsible for collecting, managing and mining data in the Victoria Police Department.

“We need a higher degree of transparency and timeliness for the public, media and community,” Manak said. “The public don’t just don’t want that information quick, they want it accurate.”

ALSO READ: VicPD arrest two men for attempting to lure children over the internet

VicPD has presented this budget in a joint meeting between the police board, Victoria City Council and Esquimalt Council, and will now proceed to make separate presentations to each municipality starting next week, with any final decisions coming place in early 2019.

When asked if he feels the budget will be rejected once again, Manak was uncertain.

“It’s hard to say; since the election there’s been a change in council and councillors,” he said. “Public safety is important; policing is an investment, and I think it’s important to recognize that the community feels safe and that residents and neighbours are feeling well supported.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

UPDATED: Man arrested on Richmond Avenue after standoff with police following ‘serious assault’

Police were called early Sunday morning following an assault in the building

Trees topped, greenery snatched from Saanich park

‘If everyone took one thing, there’d be nothing left,’ says president of park society

West Shore Parks and Rec offers holiday childcare alternatives

Camps available on days many daycares close

New Saanich resident says volunteers get back as much as they give

Saanich Volunteers Services Society member encourages others to help the community

VIDEO: Royals shock Thunderbirds with 3-1 win

Hundreds of stuffed animals thrown on ice to support local charities for Christmas

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

Most Read