Victoria, BC – The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board is announcing that it has appointed Del Manak as Chief Constable of the Victoria Police Department.
Manak has led the department as Acting Chief since December 2015. He will officially assume the rank of Chief Constable on July 1.
“Acting Chief Manak has demonstrated unwavering leadership and established a strong community presence for the past year and a half through a number of challenging circumstances,” said Mayor Helps, Lead Co-Chair of the Police Board. “His customer service and community engagement philosophy has been embraced by our communities. The board has determined that he has what it takes to permanently lead as Chief Constable.”
The board did not hold an internal or external competition but rather reviewed Manak’s performance through a 360-review process to assess his performance as Acting Chief. Through the process, and his year and a half in the Acting role, the board determined that he is the right person for the job.
"From his promotion to Deputy, to Acting and now to Chief, Del Manak has worked to ensure both communities are served well by Victoria Police Department. It is fitting that he continue to lead the department and provide excellence in policing through the framework agreement to both the Township of Esquimalt and the City of Victoria," said Mayor Barb Desjardins.
Chief Manak stated, “It is a tremendous honour to lead the committed officers and staff of this organization. Having been born and raised in Victoria, I know firsthand the long and proud history of VicPD’s service to its communities. I plan on building on this strong reputation through further engagement and collaboration.”
This is the first time since 1991 (26 years) that a Police Chief has been appointed from within the Victoria Police Department and only the second time in the past 60 years. The Board is pleased to hire from within and is looking forward to Chief Manak implementing a succession plan that ensures the development and growth of more future leaders for the organization.
Details of the Chief’s contract will soon be available on the Victoria Police Department website.
Chief Constable Manak's Speech
I would like to start by thanking the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board for believing in me, for believing in our command team and for believing in our organization. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and I won’t let you down.
I am honoured and feel very privileged in having the opportunity to lead this incredible organization. VicPD has a very long and proud history, a history that even pre-dates the Confederation of Canada. Founded in 1858, we are the oldest municipal police department west of the Great Lakes.
But despite a history that reaches back to a time when Queen Victoria reigned, I am proud to say that the men and women of VicPD look ahead at future opportunities as much as we look back at our past.
VicPD has earned a reputation as a progressive and innovative police service and stands among the best police services in Canada. I am so proud to be part of the department’s next chapter.
This is my community and this is my police department. I was born in Victoria and I grew up here, attended school here and worked for most of my life here.
Policing has changed considerably over the last few decades. VicPD has been at the forefront of this change. We have never been afraid to learn from each other and our communities, adjust our style and provide better, more responsive service. When our community calls, VicPD answers the bell.
There are many challenges ahead. Police cannot do it alone. The only way we will overcome these challenges is by working together. I call on our communities to continue to work with us to solve our collective challenges and keep our communities healthy and safe.
Given recent world events, policing must change in the face of a new reality that includes violent extremism and radicalization. We must be prepared to keep our communities safer than ever before.
But we must never stop working together. We only need to look south of the border to see how police-community relations can deteriorate, resulting in a lack of trust that may take generations to repair. We want to avoid this divide and embrace the diversity of our communities. Through continued engagement and two-way dialogue, we will stay connected with our citizens and our communities.
In the coming days and weeks, I know I will be asked, “What are my priorities?”
My answer is simple: to continue the good work that our organization has been consistently delivering. It is important to realize that, even with the uncertainty of the past year or so, the men and women of VicPD haven’t been sitting on the sidelines waiting for clarity. They have been out in the community, responding to calls for service, delivering community-based policing, and working with our many community partners. My priority is to build on that work and ensure it continues to be effective and sustainable.
For example, I want to build on what we have learned from our community and business survey project and associated public engagement sessions.
I want to build on the findings of our recent Efficiency Review and implement the recommendations.
I want to implement our Mental Health Strategy and Action Plan that will be released in the months ahead.
And finally, I want to build a sustainable and cost-effective police organization that sets the standard for other Canadian police agencies.
To the communities of Victoria and Esquimalt: I have spoken with so many of you at community events, celebrations and town hall meetings. Thank you for your support for me and our officers and staff. I will stay engaged and I will listen and act on what matters to you.
To my Deputy Chiefs, Steve Ing and Colin Watson, and the rest of our Senior Command Team, thank you for your support and for being committed to making us the strong leadership team we are today.
Having worked here for over 24 years and having hired up to 25% of our staff I can say confidently:
I know our people, I trust them and I believe in them.
To our officers and civilian staff:
By far, you are our greatest strength at VicPD. You are the finest Canada has to offer. I am very proud of how you have carried yourself through a difficult time in our history.
No matter what your job, you are committed to doing your best. I see it day in and day out. I love that you are engaged, community-minded and responsive to the high expectations set by our communities.
I want to share something that came out of our recent community survey. One of the people that took the survey added this comment:
“I have lived in a dozen cities across the country and I must say that the Victoria Police are the most empathetic, open-minded and community-focused force I've ever encountered.”
I didn’t achieve that: the men and women of VicPD did. And that’s why I am honoured to be your leader. You care. You care about your job, about our people and our communities. You are the true heart of VicPD.
No one gets to these positions without the help of others. I am no different. I want to thank the many people at different stages of my life who have mentored me, inspired me and believed in me. I am here today because of your support and guidance.
To my wife Nicky, my son Rajan, and my daughter Kamryn: thanks for your love, support and sacrifices. I wouldn’t be here without your encouragement and support. You mean the world to me.
To my mom, thank you for everything. You raised me right. You instilled strong family values, a determined work ethic and you believed in me. I am glad you are able to share this special day with me and my family.
I want to thank everyone for coming today.