Victoria police overtime bills for July 1 causing hiring delays

Canada Day incurs largest overtime costs at department

New Victoria police officers may not be immediately hired to offset overtime costs to police Canada Day in downtown Victoria.

The trend in the last two years has been to sometimes delay hiring for several months, allowing the department to keep to its allotted $2-million annual overtime budget.

“That’s one way of creating funds if you need them elsewhere,” said Victoria Police Department controller Scott Seivewright. “That’s one of our only flexibilities.”

With just days to go before tens of thousands of people flood into the downtown to celebrate Canada Day, Victoria police are winding up almost a year of preparation for their busiest day and most expensive overtime shift.

After racking up $128,000 in overtime costs last July 1, the department unsuccessfully asked for a $60,000 increase to its $40,000 Canada Day overtime budget. In 2010, the overtime bill was $63,000, over budget by $23,000.

Uniformed members, such as patrol officers, are paid time-and-a-half if they work the statutory holiday. The majority of VicPD officers from other units, who are called in specially to work the Canada Day shift, are paid double time.

If this year’s Canada Day overtime budget goes over by $60,000, the department may consider delaying the hiring of two replacement officers by four months, equivalent to about $60,000.

“But, again, we don’t have those officers working for those four months,” Seivewright said of the drawbacks, reason why the department asked for more money.

The police department currently has a full roster of 243 officers.

The department is deploying about the same number of officers to police Canada Day this year as it did in 2011, though police wouldn’t say how many. Outlying services, such as the Oak Bay Police Department, will provide additional uniformed support at no cost to Victoria.

“The police chief and deputy chiefs ensure that we have adequate resources (on duty), and if we need to reallocate budgets to make that happen then that’s what we do,” Seivewright said.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Highlands group invites provincial leaders to a panel opposing local mining application

The public forum begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Highlands Community Hall, 729 Finlayson Arm Rd.

Chinese Culture to light up 2019 Victoria Day Parade

Groups hopes Greater Victorians ‘view the culture, embrace the friendship’

Struggling Victoria adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Uplands Park champion to earn provincial award

B.C. Community Award for Margaret Lidkea coincides with Sunday’s volunteer celebration

Car fire backs up traffic southbound on Highway 1

View Royal Fire Rescue douses fire, no injuries reported

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

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

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read