Victoria Police Board wary of moving too fast on recommendations

Mediator's report on relationship between Esquimalt, VicPD and board prompts lengthy discussion

The Victoria Police Board will ask for help from the Police Services Division of the Ministry of Justice in moving forward with recommendations made in mediator Jean Greatbatch’s 34-page report, A Framework for Effectiveness released late last month.

“They’re the one group missing,” board member Joan Kotarski said during a July 10 discussion of the report, which outlined steps to improve the relationship between Esquimalt and the Victoria Police Department.

Police board members also encouraged the municipalities of Victoria and Esquimalt to formally request assistance.

“We’re certainly going to need the assistance from the provincial government on this,” agreed board chair, Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin. “The leadership by the province is going to have to continue.”

Under the Police Act, the Police Services Division is responsible for ensuring adequate and effective levels of policing and law enforcement through a variety of measures and oversights.

“I had some concerns with some of the things that are written in there, in terms of accuracy,” said board vice-chair, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins. “They’re giving us four months to get this down right in the middle of the summer.”

It’s not fair to the municipalities or the board to “move forward with the warp speed that’s being asked,” she added –  The board came to a compromise and agreed to “accept in principle the inaccuracies” in the report cited by Desjardins and others.

“I think our job today is to receive the report,” said board member Karen Kesteloo. “The second part of our job is to develop a plan. We need to identify that we have a certain time frame.”

A deadline of Oct. 31 was given by Justice Minister Shirley Bond to have initial recommendations in place.

One recommendation called for a framework agreement for governance and funding of the department to be created by a leadership group including the mayors, Chief Const. Jamie Graham, key municipal staff, the police department comptroller and a member of the police board.

“I think there’s stuff in here we need to look at further to decide what we need to do,” said board member Lindalee Brougham. “Will we truly have a voice as we move forward? Because that’s been part of the frustration … we haven’t been part of the negotiations or the prior contract.”

The “do it right, not fast” method proposed by Brougham won out after an hour-long discussion.

The board, not always in agreement on the process, compromised to receive the report, request an appointment from Police Services, ask the two municipalities to make a similar request and meet as a board to develop a response to the report.

The board also identified Brougham and David Johns as possible appointees to that leadership group. A date was not set for the follow-up meeting.

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Name change for board to match department name

Among mediator Jean Greatbatch’s recommendations to Justice Minister Shirley Bond was that the Victoria Police Board be renamed the Victoria & Esquimalt Police Board. Such a move would match the name change for the department and would be reflected in plans and budgeting for changing the department’s communications materials – plus car decals and uniform shoulder flashes – within six months.

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

Just Posted

Petition calls for suspension of Victoria councillor Ben Isitt

Isitt says petition ‘does not provide a reliable barometer of public opinion’

RCMP seek man who allegedly robbed Langford liquor store with a gun

Man described as six to six foot four tall, with slim build and light-coloured skin

Sidney dogs lose a beloved companion

Dozens gathered in Beacon Park to remember Sidney’s ‘dog whisperer’

Victoria International Airport named one of the best employers in B.C.

Cited reasons include its training programs and tuition subsidies

Thief robs Saanich liquor store at gunpoint, takes cash register

Police ask for public’s help with ongoing investigation

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Canadian Premier League announces 2020 home dates for eight-team circuit

Pacific FC hosts FC Edmonton on April 11 in Langford

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

One dead in multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on northern B.C. highway

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

B.C. teacher gets 15-year ban after lying about having sex with just-graduated student

Teacher had been dishonest with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Most Read