Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak says a regional police force would be more efficient, but much more so with full amalgamation. News files

Victoria, Saanich want to get the conversation going on regional policing in the CRD

VicPD Chief Const. Del Manak on board with a municipal review of services

The idea of a regional police force for Greater Victoria is back on the table, and even VicPD’s chief is on board with a review of the matter.

The region’s two largest municipalities started the ball rolling again on the conversation, with Victoria and Saanich councils passing motions this week recommending local municipalities open discussions on the idea. Both motions also ask the provincial government to establish and fund a citizen’s assembly on general amalgamation with interested municipalities.

RELATED: Saanich councillor tempers amalgamation talk

Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak supports reviewing the idea of a regional police department and equated Greater Victoria’s current model with each neighbourhood in the City of Vancouver having its own police force. A regional force would make the delivery of service more efficient, he said, and would make it easier to do cross-jurisdictional work.

But for it to be truly effective, Manak believes a regional government is necessary.

“The model we currently have is not the most efficient and effective model for the delivery of services, including policing,” he said. “Even though we communicate and discuss incidents, there are criminals that are crossing borders every day when you have smaller borders.

“I believe in [having] the proper governance structure in place before there is a regional police force. There should be one region, one municipality, and that provides the proper government structure for all the special services.”

RELATED: Amalgamated Victoria-Esquimalt police service here to stay

Coun. Jeremy Loveday brought the motion to Victoria council’s committee of the whole Thursday, Jan. 11. He voted in favour of amalgamation on the referendum held during the last civic election, and said regional policing makes sense.

“It’s been 100 years that our communities have been having these discussions, and it’s time to either move forward or not, and put this to rest for maybe a few decades,” he said.

RELATED: Region’s mayors to put policing under the microscope

Mayor Lisa Helps said she is meeting with Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell next week to discuss regional policing.

“There is willingness in Victoria, Esquimalt and Saanich to move in this direction,” she said. “If we get there, then Oak Bay will have to come along, quite frankly.”

Establishing a regional police force is one of the services that have been considered by local governments in previous discussions on amalgamation. Victoria-Esquimalt, Saanich, Oak Bay and Central Saanich have municipal departments, while the RCMP are contracted to police the West Shore and Sidney-North Saanich.

– By Lauren Boothby

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

Cement the latest McKenzie Interchange runoff to contaminate Colquitz

Cement “deadly” for young salmon in Colquitz

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

Submariners come home after 197-day deployment

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

Rupert the therapy bunny sidelined due to deadly virus outbreak

Chilliwack’s famous therapy rabbit quarantined for his own safety, people not at risk

UPDATE: both lanes open Hwy. 19 south after multi-vehicle accident

A car fire has since been extinguished at the Hillview Rd. crash site Thursday morning

BCHL Today: Wenatchee goes Wild against Vernon Vipers

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

B.C’s Indigenous tourism takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to imbue the industry with authenticity

B.C. landlords collect too much personal information, watchdog says

Report suggests low vacancy rates lead landlords to believe they can collect whatever info they want

Kathy Shields promoted within the Order of Canada

Legendary Vikes coach recognized for ongoing advocacy

Quebec daycare subsidies offer warning for B.C., study says

Over-55 women more likely to join paid workforce than young mothers

Passenger added to Vancouver Island MusicFest lineup

Scheduled to play the main stage Saturday evening

Most Read