Date: Thursday, October 20, 2022
I would like to express my appreciation to the Policing and Security Branch of the province’s Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General for its recent decision to approve the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board’s appeal under Section 27 of the Police Act regarding VicPD’s 2022 budget request.
This decision will result in funding for key resources that are critical for the adequate and effective policing of Victoria and Esquimalt. It directs the councils of Victoria and Esquimalt to fund 10 new positions for the Victoria Police Department, including six officers and four civilian staff. It also directs the funding of a requested overtime budget for the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team and the Public Safety Unit. In total, this decision will restore a shortfall of $1,342,525 in police funding that resulted from Esquimalt Council’s decision not to approve items in the 2022 VicPD budget as submitted by the Board. In accordance with the funding formula agreed upon between Victoria and Esquimalt for policing, Victoria would be responsible for $1,159,002 of the total while Esquimalt’s share is $183,523.
I am fully aware that funding for policing represents a significant portion of every municipality’s core budget and that tough choices have to made by elected officials at budget time. This decision by the province, however, confirms to me that public safety cannot be compromised and communities must be protected by adequate and effective policing services in order to thrive.
I remain committed to providing the best possible community-based policing service to both Victoria and Esquimalt. This funding decision is an important step in that direction and is greatly appreciated by every member of the VicPD team as we strive to provide the policing service that our communities expect.
Note: The 10 additional positions in VicPD’s 2022 budget are:
2 Co-Responder Team officers (with Island Health)
2 Assertive Community Treatment Officers
1 Cybercrime Officer
1 Cultural Liaison Officer
2 Front Desk Specialists
1 Records Specialist
1 Business Intelligence Analyst