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.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Sidney

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Sailors reunited with family for Christmas in Victoria

HMCS Nanaimo and HMCS Edmonton return following a two-month deployment

Victoria mother concerned by city’s potential straw ban

Carmell Nesbitt’s son has cerebral palsy and can only drink with plastic straws

Victoria breakfast icon is shutting its doors

Floyd’s Diner is closing its Quadra and Yates streets location

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

Porter Stanley is one of 30 people in the world to be diagnosed with Beare-Stevenson syndrome, a craniofacial disorder.

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Publication ban on name of girl killed in Abbotsford school lifted

Reimer’s family had supported an application by Black Press to lift ban

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Air passenger rights: 6 things about what the Liberals are offering

For 3- to 6-hour delays, compensation is $400. Between 6 and 9 hours, $700. Over 9 hours is $1,000

Descoteau’s mother, girlfriend reflect on tribulations of murder trial in Island city

Friends a strong support system in getting through testimony details

RCMP, civilian vehicles rammed in North Okanagan incident

Police attempt to stop truck near Enderby, thought to be tied to alleged Salmon Arm armed robbery

New biker gang with ties to Hells Angels crops up in Lower Mainland

The Street Reapers were formed late last year and have been seen in Fort Langley.

10-lane George Massey bridge too big, B.C. study says

Consultants say replacement tunnel cost similar to new bridge

Most Read