Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak says a regional police force would be more efficient, but much more so with full amalgamation. News files

Victoria, Saanich want to get the conversation going on regional policing in the CRD

VicPD Chief Const. Del Manak on board with a municipal review of services

The idea of a regional police force for Greater Victoria is back on the table, and even VicPD’s chief is on board with a review of the matter.

The region’s two largest municipalities started the ball rolling again on the conversation, with Victoria and Saanich councils passing motions this week recommending local municipalities open discussions on the idea. Both motions also ask the provincial government to establish and fund a citizen’s assembly on general amalgamation with interested municipalities.

RELATED: Saanich councillor tempers amalgamation talk

Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak supports reviewing the idea of a regional police department and equated Greater Victoria’s current model with each neighbourhood in the City of Vancouver having its own police force. A regional force would make the delivery of service more efficient, he said, and would make it easier to do cross-jurisdictional work.

But for it to be truly effective, Manak believes a regional government is necessary.

“The model we currently have is not the most efficient and effective model for the delivery of services, including policing,” he said. “Even though we communicate and discuss incidents, there are criminals that are crossing borders every day when you have smaller borders.

“I believe in [having] the proper governance structure in place before there is a regional police force. There should be one region, one municipality, and that provides the proper government structure for all the special services.”

RELATED: Amalgamated Victoria-Esquimalt police service here to stay

Coun. Jeremy Loveday brought the motion to Victoria council’s committee of the whole Thursday, Jan. 11. He voted in favour of amalgamation on the referendum held during the last civic election, and said regional policing makes sense.

“It’s been 100 years that our communities have been having these discussions, and it’s time to either move forward or not, and put this to rest for maybe a few decades,” he said.

RELATED: Region’s mayors to put policing under the microscope

Mayor Lisa Helps said she is meeting with Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell next week to discuss regional policing.

“There is willingness in Victoria, Esquimalt and Saanich to move in this direction,” she said. “If we get there, then Oak Bay will have to come along, quite frankly.”

Establishing a regional police force is one of the services that have been considered by local governments in previous discussions on amalgamation. Victoria-Esquimalt, Saanich, Oak Bay and Central Saanich have municipal departments, while the RCMP are contracted to police the West Shore and Sidney-North Saanich.

– By Lauren Boothby

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Lawyer questions rejection of visitors to Goldstream homeless campers

Activist Chrissy Brett says they are still in fear of being kicked out

Municipalities can help tent cities with provincial aid, says UBCM president

Provincial housing efforts can be facilitated on local level

Finance options on the table for city sewer hookups in Langford

Residents have just over one year to connect their homes to the City sewer at a cost of up to $20,000

Victoria Highlanders FC ownership makes expansion in Div II league

The new league serves as a stepping stone to college soccer

Battling Alzheimer’s over a cup of coffee in Colwood

Programs for people with dementia and caregivers at JDF

UrbaCity raises record-breaking $70,000 for Island Prostate Centre

240 racers, corporate sponsors fill the coffers for the cause

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

B.C. electric vehicle subsidy fund drains faster than expected

Province adds another $10 million to incentive fund

‘I’ll never forgive you:’ Victim impact statements at hearing for Calgary killer

Curtis Healy was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the death of Dawns Baptiste.

Most Read