Esquimalt eyes other policing options

Esquimalt is “exploring its options” for policing, the township’s mayor said.

“It is about an opportunity to review and see what alternative service provision could be provided, at what cost,” Barb Desjardins said at a press conference Friday.

On Thursday, Esquimalt issued a request for proposals on a policing model for the township to VicPD, Saanich police and the RCMP E division. Since 2003, Esquimalt has been policed by VicPD after its own force amalgamated with Victoria’s.

In 2009, the police services branch of the Solicitor General’s Ministry audited Esquimalt’s contract with VicPD. It found the level of service good, but also gave the township leeway to explore other policing options.

A law enforcement advisory board formed in August last year to help provide direction for policing the community. Esquimalt spent $45,000 on the task in 2010.

Desjardins said Esquimalt residents like some aspects of the current policing model, but are looking for changes.

In forums and open houses, residents communicated a desire for a community-based policing models with more officers on foot patrol and a police department building open 24-7 in Esquimalt.

“It’s not to say what we’ve got isn’t good, it’s to say, ‘Is there something better?’ … and that’s what we’re asking with the RFP,” Desjardins said.

Deputy chief John Ducker said VicPD was surprised by the RFP. He added Esquimalt already gets the best level of policing it could ask for.

“It’s a mistake to overly prioritize issues around community policing,” said Ducker, who has lived in Esquimalt for 40 years. “They are getting the best service that can be provided to any community.”

Ducker said: “I am a little concerned (the provincial government) would not have put more effort into the negotiations between Esquimalt and VicPD. We could have worked out our problems in eight years.”

It is up to Victoria’s and Saanich’s police boards to decide whether they will submit a proposal.

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin said it’s too early to say whether the police board would submit a proposal. The board is still examining the RFP.

Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said his police board would make that decision this week.

Cpl. Darren Lagan with the RCMP E division said its operational strategies branch will prepare a submission for policing Esquimalt.

Esquimalt is seeking a 10-year contract with a five-year renewal option.

The township currently pays about 15 per cent of VicPD’s $42-million budget.

A shortened, 15-page version of the 300-plus page RFP is available at www.esquimalt.ca.

ecardone@vicnews.com

Just Posted

After dark: Sandown construction goes overnight

Noise concerns from Sidney could stop nighttime work schedule

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

BC SPCA proposes fines for animal mistreatment, reduction in commercial trade

Animal welfare group’s ideas brought to Victoria councillors

New Victoria graving dock will offer high-paying jobs

New facility will reuse and treat any water required for repair process

Trial date delayed in case of slain Oak Bay sisters

Case of Andrew Berry, charged in deaths of daughters, will reconvene in three weeks

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

Suspect and Mountie bitten by police dog during arrest near Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

All aboard! Job fair ports this weekend in Victoria

Find out about the hundreds of jobs in Victoria’s cruise ship industry

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Sooke mom hopeful for funding to treat child’s debilitating arthritis

Jillian Lanthier ‘prays’ for $19,000 per-dose drug for her son

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Saanich steps up recreation registration

Saanich has unveiled its new parks and recreation registration and facility booking system

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Most Read