Date: Thursday, January 6, 2022
Victoria, BC – In response to anticipated COVID-19 Omicron variant impacts at the department, VicPD has notified all officers to prepare for potential redeployment to frontline policing.
Starting this weekend, some VicPD officers will be redeployed to the Patrol division to assist in frontline call response. This temporary measure is in place as VicPD acts in response to anticipated staffing shortages due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant over the coming weeks. This redeployment is being made to ensure that VicPD is able to continue to meet our public safety mandate. Further redeployments will be made as needed.
“Maintaining the continuity of police operations during this global pandemic is critical,” said Chief Del Manak. “I am extremely grateful to our officers who are adjusting their shifts and schedules to serve on the frontlines, ensuring that citizens of Victoria and Esquimalt know that when they call 911, a uniformed officer will respond to their call for help.”
This redeployment marks the first time VicPD has enacted a clause in the collective agreement between the Victoria Police Department and the Victoria City Police Union (VCPU) to allow for this redeployment.
“The VCPU and VicPD are working together as we respond to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency,” VCPU spokesperson Matt Waterman said. “The Union will continue to monitor and hopes the emergent situation will be resolved shortly so workers can return to their regular duties and schedule. ”
The redeployment comes as VicPD continues to face staffing challenges. Over 50 officers are already off work, primarily due to injury, as well as for training or administrative purposes.