Police launch new strategic plan

Plan will chart course for the next five years.

Leading into the framework agreement of the Victoria police 2015 strategic plan, there was much discussion on whether the department’s name should be changed to include Esquimalt.

But given the significant history of the Victoria Police Department, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said changing a name at this point won’t make a difference.

“What we’re seeing is integrated and everything’s being done with two communities, not just one,” said Desjardins, noting that having the Victoria and Esquimalt police board recognizes the coverage of two communities.

“The chief has really done a good job in embedding two communities into everything he’s done. We don’t need to change the name to do that.”

The topic came up briefly on Tuesday afternoon when Victoria police launched their new strategic plan, which will chart the organization’s course for the next five years.

The plan is meant to give direction for the future without being too prescriptive, noted Desjardins, and provides performance indicators to measure how the work is being done. It also focuses on a community-based approach and was put together by six members of the community in Victoria and Esquimalt.

According to police chief Frank Elsner, the plan is predicated on four principals — community mobilization, intelligence-lead policing, communications and being our best. Some of the five-year goals include preventing, reducing and effectively investigating crime and disorder, being leaders in developing shared strategies to enhance community safety and having the public value, trust and understand the role of police in a healthy community.

“One of the big changes of policing right now is moving away from this warrior mentality to a guardian and we want to be guardians of our community so the plan’s going to focus on that direction,” said Elsner.

“What we predicated on is our community commitment, being part of our community, listening to our community and then being really nimble and being able to meet their needs as they need it.”

For more information about the strategic plan visit vicpd.ca.