Victoria police brass propose no-frills budget hike

New money would cover negotiated salary and benefit increases

  • Dec. 20, 2011 6:00 p.m.

It will cost almost $1.4 million more to police Victoria and Esquimalt next year.

If approved by Victoria and Esquimalt councils, the Victoria Police Department’s 2012 budget would rise by 3.3 per cent to $42,958,469.

Much of the increase would “fund the existing staff we have,” said VicPD financial controller Scott Seivewright. “We’re not asking for new resources, new officers or new support staff.”

VicPD brass presented the no-frills budget proposal last week to Victoria and Esquimalt councillors and Victoria Police Board members.

Unlike last year, the department is not asking for more money to bolster its roster of 243 uniformed members and 108 civilians.

The increase would cover about $1.1 million in negotiated wage and benefit increases, mostly for uniformed personnel. Operating costs are projected to rise by about $248,000.

The department regularly looks for ways to save money, but costs are being driven up by overtime costs generated by officers attending court, policing special events such as Canada Day festivities and working more resource-intensive investigations, said VicPD Chief Const. Jamie Graham.

“We don’t spend like drunken sailors,” he said. “We’re very careful about where we spend our money.”

The department isn’t asking for more staff, but additional resources are needed.

“I need more cops but … the city does not have the ability to pay,” Graham said. “Money is tight at the moment.”

The department has one of the highest caseloads in the province, and it is significantly higher than other Capital Region municipalities, said Del Manak, deputy chief of police operations .

About 30 per cent of those cases involve officers responding to incidents involving drug addicts, the mentally ill and the homeless community, said John Ducker, deputy chief of administration.

“I think that within the next few years that will rise to about 50 per cent,” he said. “This is a clear example how we in our two jurisdictions are not dealing with the regional problem.”

Given growing policing costs, Graham said he remains committed to establishing a regionalized police service with about 400 officers policing halfway up the Malahat Drive of the Trans-Canada Highway over to Oak Bay and across the Saanich Peninsula to Sidney.

“We continue to push that envelope and we think in the last six months we’re making head way,” Graham said. “People are returning my calls now, which is always a good sign.”

Victoria police brass have sat down with their Saanich counterparts to propose alternatives, such as departments maintaining their own patrol divisions, but regionalizing all other services, said Graham.

“Our general philosophy now is we’re not entering in any more regional units unless it’s in the best interests of the region,” he said.

Victoria and Esquimalt councils will consider approving the police budget in the new year.

 

By the numbers:

• Proposed 2012 police budget: almost $43 million

• Proposed increase for 2012: $1,358,599

• 2011 budget: nearly $41.6 million

• Victoria’s share: $36,352,315 or 85 per cent, up by about $1 million

• Esquimalt’s portion: $6,606,153 or 15 per cent, including a $300,000 increase

 

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Thousands show for 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria

New records, first-time runners, and stories of resilience

Mother of alleged hit-and-run victim hopes municipalities will work together to improve crosswalk

Young woman injured, dog killed when struck by driver on marked crosswalk at Foul Bay Road

Here comes the rain: Victoria can expect post Thanksgiving showers all week

Mild, rainy weather expected from Tuesday to Saturday

Opponents of Elizabeth May criticize her push to scrap temporary foreign worker program

May has proposed to scrap the federal program which supplies local business with temporary workers

Victoria woman uses loss to raise awareness of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

City of Victoria to recognize Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day Oct. 15

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Dog killed in alleged hit and run, Goodlife Marathon takes over city and more

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read