The addition of a pair of two-wheeled electric patrol units instead of one with four wheels stands out in the proposed 2022 Oak Bay police budget.
The police board approved the roughly $5.6 million budget Oct. 26 that showed a minor increase, .24 per cent, over last year. The two new e-bikes roll in at $10,000.
The department has five mountain bikes in use and most officers are fully trained on them, said Deputy Chief Mark Fisher.
Traditional bikes, however, can limit how quickly an officer can get from one call to another. An e-bike in a community the size of Oak Bay could even be faster than a vehicle at times, Fisher noted.
The department also plans to track the difference having the electric bikes makes in vehicle usage.
It also deferred getting a new electric vehicle next year, shooting for 2023 to allow for technology to evolve. The department already will be adding one e-vehicle to its patrol fleet, and is committed to a full shift to electric.
Meanwhile, the technology inside vehicles is set to be replaced next year with five computers slated at $42,500. There is also $20,150 set aside for a digital evidence management system mandated by the provincial government.
The police budget now goes to council for consideration during the district’s annual budget discussions.