Victoria Police Chief Del Manak said the department will now look at cutting services after VicPD was denied more funding for its 2019 budget.( Arnold Lim/News Staff)

Victoria Police Chief Del Manak said the department will now look at cutting services after VicPD was denied more funding for its 2019 budget.( Arnold Lim/News Staff)

‘I’m falling behind,’ VicPD Chief Del Manak makes cuts to police services

VicPD cuts its Crime Reduction Unit in response to budget, staffing constrictions

The Victoria Police Department has disbanded its Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) in response to staffing shortages and 2019 budget changes from the City of Victoria.

The eight-person team has been part of the VicPD crime prevention strategy for over 10 years, and focused on reducing crime by targeting prolific offenders involved in drugs, theft, sexual offences and more.

“We are losing a proactive capacity ,and our ability to prevent crime,” said Chief Const. Del Manak. “I had no other options other than to do this because I have to move my officers to the front lines to answer 911 calls.”

Presently, 35 of the 243 officers are off due to injuries, illness and parental leave.

ALSO READ: Six new police officers add $300,000 to Victoria’s 2019 budget

In addition Manak said budgetary constrictions have limited what the department can do.

After lengthy negotiations with the City of Victoria, it was decided that the Police Department would absorb the costs of the Employer’s Health Tax, totalling $690,000. The City found coverage for these funds by cutting costs to other areas of the VicPD budget, including cuts to its DNA analysis measures, CCTV maintenance contracts, and changes to land line/mobility contracts. One new help desk position was also cut.

The City had also denied the hiring of six new officers in 2018, which was overruled by a provincial appeal by the Police Services Division. The City is now looking to find funds for the hires.

READ MORE: Victoria council denies VicPD coverage for Employer’s Health Tax

These decisions were put to the test when VicPD turned to the city in June asking for further funding to cover special events, such as Canada Day and Remembrance Day. After much debate, council eventually approved a total of $135,000 for these costs.

Now, however, the last pillar of the VicPD preventative measures are wiped.

“With moves like this we are slowly becoming more of a reactive police organization than a preventative police organization,” Manak said. “I think that’s a very risky road. It’s not a position as a police organization that we want to be in.”

ALSO READ: Victoria agrees to fund Canada Day, special event policing – calls on feds to cover military events

Manak said since the CRU dissolved the department has noticed a difference in being up-to-date with local crime.

The VicPD goal is to eventually reinstate the CRU if possible, but Manak said that at this point he doesn’t foresee how it will happen.

“I’m falling behind. I still haven’t replaced the public school officers and we’ve got an intel officer I had to redeploy,” he said.

Manak added that cutting the CRU isn’t the last change the department will have to make.

“There will be other steps taken to reduce service, cut service or align service in order to find the efficiencies within,” he said. “We’re doing what we can to keep out community safe and it’s becoming more and more of a challenge to do that.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

City of VictoriaVicPD

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Mann family lived in a coach house attached to the old stables – which once stood across from where the beer bottles were found – from about 1911 to the '30s. This historical photograph shows members of the Mann family passing around a beer bottle similar to the ones found recently. (Photos courtesy Cindy MacDougall)
Cheers to history: 100-year-old beer bottles unearthed at Royal Roads University

Four bottles from Victoria Brewing Co., Silver Springs Brewery date back to early 1900s

Tighe Archer with a Winter Tree that he cut and assembled in Esquimalt High wood shop. Students in ten high school wood shops are cutting the raw materials and packaging them into kits that are delivered to Grade 3 and 4 elementary classes in the district to assemble. 
(Lindsay Johnson Photo)
Greater Victoria high schoolers cut Winter Trees for Grade 3 classes

Apprenticing carpentry students bring a little season to younger peers

Evelyn Turner, Jen Rashleigh and Steve Duck with Circular Farm and Food: Vancouver Island stand outside the Sandown Agricultural Lands, future site of the Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture. North Saanich council is considering a draft agreement with the future operators for final approval Monday. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich close to inking final agreement with Sandown operators

Future operators of Sandown Agricultural Lands have confidence in their vision

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Victoria for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

(Courtesy Saanich Police Dept.)
Police hope boot search will help find missing Saanich man

Sean Hart is known to walk for miles, with or without his boots

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Montreal Alouettes’ Michael Sam is set to make his pro football debut as he warms up before the first half of a CFL game against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Study finds Canada a ‘laggard’ on homophobia in sports

Among females, 44 per cent of Canadians who’ve come out to teammates reported being victimized

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Information about the number of COVID-19 cases in Abbotsford and other municipalities poses a danger to the public, the Provincial Health Services Authority says. (Photo: Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
More city-level COVID-19 data would jeopardize public health, B.C. provincial health agency says

Agency refuses to release weekly COVID-19 case counts, citing privacy and public health concerns

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

Most Read