A criminologist’s review of Victoria Police Department resources has resulted in the immediate reassignment of 10 of its 243 officers to understaffed sections.
University of the Fraser Valley criminologist Daryl Plecas presented his report to VicPD, Victoria and Esquimalt councillors in June, but details were only released Monday.
The eliminated positions include two school resource officers, two youth investigators, two day shift patrol cars, one regional domestic violence unit investigator, one focused enforcement team, one community resource officer and one crime prevention sergeant position.
“The approach we took through this was we weren’t going to eliminate any programs or sections,” said Dep. Chief John Ducker. “We decided to draw a little bit from different departments.”
Reassigned officers will join VicPD’s understaffed intelligence section and focus on prolific offenders in the city.
“Simply put, the department has relatively more to contend with, on average, per officer than most other police departments in B.C. and Canada,” states VicPD’s action plan, citing a per officer caseload 67 per cent higher than the national average.
“A staffing increase would be the easiest solution, but the economic climate just isn’t there for that,” Ducker said. “So what you do is move to this crime reduction model, get rid of your worst offenders in your most problematic areas and drive the severity and volume of crime down to eventually create capacity.”
VicPD also plans to regionalize its communications centre with the RCMP, invest in technology upgrades, increase one-person patrol units and ask city hall to fund a second civilian crime analyst.
An efficiency review of VicPD will be undertaken in the next year to further identify how the department can cut costs.