Saanich Police Department launched a five-year plan to the public on Friday.
Good through 2022, the plan outlines 13 key strategic priorities based on a public consultation campaign with public.
“The policing environment is constantly changing and it’s important for our department to be able to adapt to address issues of growing concern,” said Saanich Police Chief Constable Bob Downie. “Issues such as the opioid crisis require an ongoing commitment to working collaboratively with our community partners, while areas of crime such as gender-based violence and online fraud or harassment require specialized skill sets.”
More than 1,8000 people participated in the consultations through online surveys, surveys conducted at community events, and in-person focus groups.
The goal of the plan is to connect the community of Saanich with its police force, one that operates with an annual budget of more than $32 million. That’s an annual cost per capita for Saanich taxpayers of $326, which is below the average cost per capita of the 11 independent municipal police departments.
Among the challenges noted are an increase in calls, the ongoing opioid crisis, and growing concerns around fraud that targets older adults.