File: 20-4805

Victoria, BC – VicPD is launching “Project Downtown Connect” today, an initiative aimed at increasing police visibility and engagement in Victoria’s downtown core.

“Project Downtown Connect” is scheduled to run for four months, with officers maintaining a consistent, high-visibility presence in the downtown area. The goal of this project is to respond to the concerns of the business community with respect to theft and to support local businesses downtown.

VicPD officers on foot patrol downtown.

“It is a priority of VicPD to increase police visibility downtown,” said Chief Del Manak. “Our officers will continue to engage with local businesses, to build relationships, and to improve the safety of our community.”

This project was recently piloted by members of VicPD’s Community Services Division (CSD).  Beginning in December of 2019, CSD officers increased police presence and visibility in the downtown core.  CSD officers also engaged with the public and businesses to address concerns and to build relationships. Feedback from the business community and members of the public was overwhelmingly positive.

“Our small businesses are part of the lifeblood of our city,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “I am proud of the work of VicPD officers and of their responsiveness and continued commitment to a high level of service in the downtown core.”

As part of “Project Downtown Connect,” officers will engage business owners and staff on recommended security improvements and applicable bylaws. In addition, officers will provide the business community with a better understanding of how and when to report incidents to the police.

“We are excited to see VicPD more present in our downtown core,” said Jeff Bray of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. “This initiative is a positive step in enhancing the safety of business employees and customers in our community.”

Due to resource constraints, this initiative will be staffed by officers from across the department on special duty assignment.