Victoria, BC – Officers that were assigned to VicPD’s Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) have been re-assigned to other areas of the department as we continue to realign our services with our resources.
The Crime Reduction Unit, known for its work combatting property offenders and drug traffickers, was disbanded effective June 1st. The Crime Reduction Unit’s primary mandate was to reduce crime by targeting prolific offenders. The unit conducted extensive drug investigative work during project Fentanyl Focus, conducted property crime-related investigations, conducted online investigations in which stolen property was being sold, and managed the department’s street gang portfolio, most recently conducting two investigations into the Brother’s Keepers.
“My preference is to not reallocate these positions and continue providing the full range of policing services that our citizens expect,” said Chief Constable Del Manak. “However, citizens expect that when they call 911, an officer will arrive to help them quickly. Without this change and further changes, VicPD cannot maintain that basic level of service.”
Currently, VicPD has over 30 police officers who are not deployable in a call-response capacity for a variety of reasons, including physical and psychological injuries, parental leave, and recruits receiving training at the police academy. This has created major challenges in ensuring adequate deployment of frontline resources to respond to calls from our community. For example, as recently as last night, there were 46 calls waiting to be assigned to VicPD Patrol officers, all of whom were already responding to previous calls.
More organizational changes will occur in the future in an effort to address these demands within available resources. Many of these changes are outlined in the department’s Transformation Report, which will be released publicly at the July meeting of the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board.