Amalgamated Victoria-Esquimalt police service here to stay

Esquimalt will continue to be policed by the Victoria Police Department.

Justice Minister Shirley Bond’s decision, announced today, effectively kills the township’s request last June to switch to the RCMP.

“We’re very disappointed,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, who chairs the Esquimalt Policing and Law Enforcement Advisory Panel, which made the request to change policing providers.

“They have completely ignored the panel process, the process that they put in place originally,” she said. “It’s really an insult to the panel. Amalgamation is not the decision of the panel.”

But Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin, who serves as the Victoria Police Board chair, is elated.

“We’ve been delivered some certainty. We’ve been delivered a blueprint for the future, how we can improve the services of an amalgamated force for all the citizens,” he said.

Though Esquimalt will continue to be policed by Victoria officers, the province has ordered several changes at the police board level.

The Victoria Police Board was the subject of a review late last year amid ongoing disagreements over funding and governance models, as well as concerns over the absence of a formal complaint process.

The recommendations made in mediator Jean Greatbatch’s 34-page report, entitled, “A Framework for Effectiveness,” form the basis of the minister’s decision to remain with the amalgamated model.

“I want to ensure that policing in Esquimalt and Victoria is fair and effective for both parties,” Bond said in a statement. “That’s why we are taking specific steps to support them in creating a new framework for policing.”

A facilitator will be appointed to help develop a new framework agreement by Oct. 31, in an effort to improve police board relations, by improving the service delivery model, establishing an equitable funding formula and an open budget process, and creating a conflict-resolution process.

As well, two new community advisory committees will be created by Nov. 30, allowing residents to provide input on policing to the board.

The board will also be restructured by Oct. 31 to provide more collaboration. The mediator also suggested the board be led by two co-chairs, but that will only be decided as the framework agreement is negotiated. Fortin currently chairs the board, with Desjardins as vice-chair.

The framework agreement will be reviewed in three years by the provincial director of police services.

An emergency Esquimalt council meeting will be held early next week to address next steps for the township.

emccracken@vicnews.com

See the full report, “A Framework for Effectiveness,” at www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/policeservices/shareddocs/report_on_victoria_esquimalt_policing.pdf

 

Just Posted

Live wire repairs result in unplanned outage for 4,400 BC Hydro customers Tuesday night

Equipment issues results in larger, unplanned outage for Saanich, Oak Bay residents

Victoria car show’s ferry event a highlight for arriving hot-rodders

Grand opening event one of several planned for Northwest Deuce Days

Saanich Police issue warning after nearly 20 break-ins while homeowners away

Police believe suspect is deliberately targeting homes while resident are on vacation

Brentwood Bay brings $5 concerts every Wednesday

Variety of music on offer, picnics, good vibes and family friendly

Garbage piles up at Mount Doug Park in Saanich

Local resident blames the design of the garbage bins

VIDEO: Black bear caught climbing tree in Langford neighbourhood

Triangle Mountain residents on alert following bear sighting

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Most Read