Victoria Police Department renaming could carry big price tag

Costs of including Esquimalt in name could be offset by piecemeal changes

The Victoria police's Dodge Charger cruisers will be relabeled as part of the department's renaming to the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Department.

The Victoria police's Dodge Charger cruisers will be relabeled as part of the department's renaming to the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Department.

The cost of rebranding the Victoria Police Department when it officially becomes the Victoria & Esquimalt Police Department is estimated to be well over $100,000.

That price tag would apply “if we were to stop today and reprint everything, issue every new shoulder flash for every officer’s shirts and jackets, and do the cars and do the police station, and flags and business cards – the whole nine yards,” said department spokesperson Const. Mike Russell.

The name change was among several changes announced last week by Justice Minister Shirley Bond, when she revealed that the Victoria department will continue to police Esquimalt.

The township had hoped to switch to the RCMP.

After examining the issues aggravating the Esquimalt-Victoria policing relationship, a third-party mediator recommended the name change “to indicate there is a new way of doing business …”

Among Jean Greatbatch’s recommendations to the minister was that the Victoria & Esquimalt Police Board create a plan and budget to change the department’s communications materials – plus car decals and uniform shoulder flashes – to reflect the new name within six months.

The department last took on a new corporate brand identity in 2008, when it adopted a silver crest, at a cost of $15,000, and built an image around the VicPD name. The department adopted its current crest in 2010, in a process that was rolled out over several months to save money.

“When the new fleet comes, instead of redoing the old Crown Victoria (cars with the new crest), we just do the new Chargers with the new graphic,” Russell said.

A similar approach could save the department tens of thousands of dollars during the upcoming renaming process.

“It’s not like we throw everything out and start new,” Russell said.

emccracken@vicnews.com