The Capital Region has a new governance model for its integrated police units.
Mayors of the Capital Regional District in partnership with the province and police chiefs formally established a Regional Governance Council for Integrated Police Units on Feb. 15.
Mayors David Screech of View Royal and Kevin Murdoch of Oak Bay served as co-chairs ahead of formal creation and will continue their roles.
The governance council is made up of all the regional mayors and is intended to meet two to four times per year to initially oversee five integrated units, which are the Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Team, Mobile Youth Services Team, Regional Domestic Violence Unit, Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team, and Greater Victoria Public Safety Unit.
These units are staffed by officers from across the region, with some including RCMP, and have a combined budget of more than $2 million.
“We know these units face unique challenges and need to adapt to changing community needs, and we’re excited to see the formation of a model that allows community input for these regional units,” the mayors said in a statement.
Murdoch said work by all partners – the province, police leadership, and mayors – enables civilian input to these integrated police units that fall outside the standard civilian oversight model in the Police Act.
This is only the second such oversight model for integrated police units in the province.
The province contributed expertise and funding over several years to help develop a governance model that works with legislation and helps achieve best practices when working across organizations and jurisdictions, Murdoch said.
“These units face unique challenges and need to adapt to changing community needs, and we’re excited to see the formation of a model that allows community input for these regional units,” the mayors’ statement added.
The regional governance council does not replace the authorities or responsibilities of municipal police boards, councils, chiefs or detachment commanders. The group is intended to help inform decision-making to enhance the abilities of these units and collateral police services while also helping identify potential new shared services for the region.
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