Victoria Police Chief Del Manak said the department will now look at cutting services after VicPD was twice denied additional funding from the Township of Esquimalt. Arnold Lim/BLACK PRESS

Esquimalt denies VicPD budget request for the second time

“It’s not about the money, it’s about what is fair for our community.”

For the second time in less than two months, Esquimalt council denied the Victoria Police department’s budget request of $40,778, to hire six new officers.

Deputy Chief Colin Watson, acting on behalf of Chief Const. Del Manak, presented a revised budget during the March 5 council meeting at municipal hall after the original request was voted down 4-3 in January.

The initial budget request had requested $94,000 to hire six officers and two civilian staff, but the Township bristled at the amount saying they couldn’t justify saddling Esquimalt taxpayers with the cost, without a clearer idea about how that would specifically improve police services in the municipality.

Watson said calls to the department – an amalgamated police force serving both Victoria and Esquimalt – had risen 19.4 per cent between 2012 and 2016.

“We’re a 24/7 operation, so it actually takes five police officers to put one police officer on the road,” he said, adding the sharing of resources between the bordering municipalities “happens more than you think.”

Calls for service, investigative procedures and the overall response capacity for emerging challenges in the policing world are some of the reasons VicPD has focused on improving services on the front line.

“Our staff are telling us that workload is a major stresser for them,” Watson told council. “I worry about how long we can keep that going.”

RELATED: Police chief’s plea for funding rejected in Esquimalt

An independent study reported the department, who hasn’t increased their force in almost a decade, actually needs more than six officers. Manak has said that if the budget requests continue to be denied, the department will have to look at cutting services in non-critical areas.

After lengthy discussion, council was left befuddled saying they didn’t feel there was enough detail in the “repackaged” presentation, nor did it align with the framework agreement the department made with Victoria and Esquimalt back in 2014.

Coun. Morrison said it’s not about the dollar amount, but what is fair for the community, calling on the provincial government who he feels is lagging on a promise to implement a regional police force.

“Until that happens, all I can do is continue to fight for what is fair for our community and I cannot in good conscience vote to support this request on those grounds,” he said.

The matter is now headed to the provincial government, who will conduct a resolution process under the British Columbia Police Act.

Just Posted

Victoria says #NeverAgain in solidarity with March For Our Lives

Youth Political Commons invites public to rally against gun violence March 24 at legislature

No injuries in single-vehicle accident on Sooke Road

Traffic moving slowly in both directions

McClure house fire saw Victoria firefighters utilize drone for first time in live situation

Aerial device feeds intel to crews to help formulate firefighting action plans

RCMP searching for man wanted on sexual assault charges

William Meers is known to frequent the Duncan area

Victoria beer leaguer turns heads as Joe Thornton doppleganger

Joe Thornton lookalike from Victoria makes it on

Submariners come home after 197-day deployment

Tears and laughter filled the jetty where emotional friends and family welcomed the HMCS Submarine Chicoutimi

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Charges formally laid against Nanaimo city manager

City of Nanaimo CAO Tracy Renee Samra charged with fear of injury/damage by another person

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Most Read