Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin

Victoria, Esquimalt ink policing agreement

Policing agreement will run to Dec. 31, 2023 and includes dedicated patrol officers in Esquimalt

A policing framework agreement between Victoria and Esquimalt is finally in place after 18 months of negotiations.

Esquimalt will receive a dedicated division of 25 VicPD officers and Mayor Barb Desjardins will receive co-chair status on the Victoria-Esquimalt Police Board, a key recommendation of a 2012 mediator’s report funded by the province.

“This is a win-win-win situation for Esquimalt, Victoria and the police board,” Desjardins said at a joint press conference Thursday at Esquimalt municipal hall. “It’s a phenomenal agreement.”

The framework agreement is part of a mandated process set out in June 2012 by then-B.C. Justice Minister Shirley Bond, when Esquimalt was told to stick with police services provided by VicPD despite the township’s desire to contract RCMP services.

The new agreement allows both municipalities to opt in and out of “optional resources” with board approval, though it wasn’t immediately clear what services are considered optional. Specific policies stemming from the agreement must be finalized Jan. 1, 2015.

Esquimalt will pay the City of Victoria $142,000 for police services funding owed from previous years, but will save about $105,000 this year and an estimated $330,000 annually once the new payment method is implemented by 2016, Desjardins said.

Victoria’s share of policing costs will increase from 84.4 per cent to 85.3 per cent by 2016, while Esquimalt’s share will decrease from 15.2 per cent to 14.7 per cent over the same period.

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin said Victoria’s 2014-2018 draft financial plan already incorporates the anticipated cost increases resulting from the agreement, and the city has already taken steps to offset those costs through reductions at city hall.

VicPD Chief Frank Elsner said the agreement marks an “historic day for the organization,” and said he was proud of the work put in by his officers as negotiations advanced.

Provincial mediator Jean Greatbatch’s 34-page report, A Framework for Effectiveness, called for VicPD to be renamed the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Department, and recommended rebranding take place within six months. Today’s announcement makes clear that rebranding won’t happen, though some cruisers will be branded with Esquimalt logos. Nonetheless, both mayors are promoting the agreement as a positive step forward in their rocky relationship.

 

“This process was necessary to ensure the community gets what it wants, and we now have a mechanism for disputes, which wasn’t previously in place,” Desjardins said.

VicPD will also undergo an external efficiency review in the coming months.

 

The newly inked policing agreement is largely considered the first step towards regional policing in Greater Victoria, a model recommended by missing women inquiry commissioner Wally Oppal for both the Capital Region and Metro Vancouver.

The B.C. Justice Ministry is currently undertaking a provincewide review of policing services and policies, including the explorations of “further integration of services, while at the same time retaining local community-focused policing.”

Desjardins and Fortin said the agreement allows other Capital Region municipalities to join in future, should they feel compelled to do so.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

 

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

Just Posted

Students from SD62 stepped up to help members in the community with the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive. This year’s organizers had to adapt during the campaign as COIVD-19 public health orders changed. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore students step up to make sure community members don’t go without

Students of SD62 are this year’s recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

Millstream Village is welcoming a new Marshalls location March 9. (Photo courtesy GWL Realty Advisors)
New Marshalls store in Langford brings boost to women in need

Retailer will hold opening ceremony in Millstream Village March 9

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24.

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read