With the transition of the last person camping on Victoria’s courthouse lawn to housing, Victoria’s “Tent City” closed early this morning.
Our Department had been working towards this peaceful resolution with those on site, our partners and those impacted in the surrounding community since early November 2015. Our officers have been there from the very beginning. We listened to everyone involved and we helped bring partners together. When the risk to public safety grew, we worked with Victoria City Council to secure additional funding to increase our presence on and around the site. This increased presence helped keep things as peaceful as possible and helped to address the concerns of the surrounding community.
Our work was not without risk to our members. Several of our officers were injured in the course of their duties. Many of our officers took on extra work, taking time away from their families to focus on helping resolve this issue. There have been many in our organization, from civilian members to sworn officers, who have worked countless hours towards today’s peaceful resolution. Our Senior Command Team and I are proud of their work.
Today, I would like to recognize all of our partners who helped make today possible. I would also like to acknowledge the patience and professionalism that our officers have consistently demonstrated over the last 10 months. Their work in fostering and maintaining partnerships with a range of community groups and individuals was a key factor in today’s peaceful resolution.
A/Chief Constable Colin Watson