Chief Const. Del Manak said officers are taking too long to respond to emergency calls. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Chief Const. Del Manak said officers are taking too long to respond to emergency calls. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria Police Department taking too long to respond to emergency calls

A new report says VicPD is not meeting its 911 response targets

The Victoria Police Department says it’s not meeting its goals when it comes to responding to emergency calls.

In a report coming to a committee of the whole meeting on Thursday, Chief Const. Del Manak points out that police are taking too long in three out of four of its priority levels.

Priority one calls are life-threatening or require urgent attention, and officers should be on scene in seven minutes or less 95 per cent of the time.

ALSO READ: Victoria residents face long holds for non-emergency police calls

Priority two calls are serious, but may not be life-threatening and requires officers to be there within 12 minutes 90 per cent of the time.

Priority three require routing attention, but have no threat to life or property and requires officer on scene in 40 minutes or less 90 per cent of the time.

In all three of these situations, the police have not been meeting these time limits in 2019. The self-imposed benchmarks were put in place in 2018 after VicPD studied other police agencies, their own five-year response data and a public survey. In 2018, priority one and two call benchmarks were also not met for a majority of the year.

“It’s an ongoing problem,” Manak said.

He said there are two main issues contributing to the response delay; primarily he doesn’t have enough front-line officers, and secondly the department is dealing with an increase in call volume and severity.

Manak pointed out to two recent incidences which involved violent men barricading themselves inside buildings. On Monday a man barricaded himself inside of the Emanu-el Synagogue in downtown Victoria, which required a massive police presence and the evacuation of a nearby daycare. On Sunday a similar incident happened at a residential building on Richmond Avenue after a violent domestic dispute.

“What happens then is while these incidences are going on we don’t have the ability and resources to have other officers available to pick up the slack,” Manak said. “It’s a ripple effect.”

ALSO READ: Victoria Police Department requests $2.5 million increase for 2020 budget

Manak said he’s not surprised about the results and that in July VicPD issued a Transformation Report articulating 14 steps it hopes will lighten the work load.

These priorities include reducing unnecessary police services, altering work schedules, hiring special municipal constables and re-prioritizing calls.

“We’re looking at modernizing and transforming our police department,” he said. “We’re just implementing some of those now and intend to also do a deep dive into our response benchmarks to see if we missed anything.”

Manak said he doesn’t think the department will change the benchmarks, since the public told them these were the targets to hit.

The Victoria Police Department recently submitted a second request to the province to review municipal budget restrictions for 2019 in hopes of hiring four more staff members. The province already voted in favour of the department’s 2018 request for six additional officers.

This year VicPD requested a $2.5 million increase in its 2020 budget, bringing the total up to $58 million, which includes the hiring of special municipal constables. Budget requests will be further considered by the City in January.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

VicPDVictoria Police Department

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

Just Posted

Island Health has confirmed the first long term care facility outbreak in Greater Victoria at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich. (Google Maps)
Island Health records first long-term care COVID outbreak in Greater Victoria

Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich confirms one positive staff member

Itty, a Siamese cat, has been missing since a house fire in Victoria’s Fernwood neighbourhood on Friday, Nov. 27. Her owner says she has white fur with blonde and grey markings. (Facebook/ROAM)
Cat goes missing after house fire in Fernwood neighbourhood

‘Itty’ has white fur, blonde and grey markings and blue eyes

An aerial view over Oak Bay. (Black Press Media File Photo)
An aerial view over Oak Bay and the Marina. Oak Bay residents pay the highest taxes on Vancouver Island. Don Denton/Black Press
Oak Bay secondary suites study considers units old and new

Secondary suites draft report due in new year

Westcoast Impressions plans to organize a COVID-19 friendly version of the event in 2021 at the Mary Winspear Centre after having cancelled the 2020 version against the backdrop of pandemic. The opening night of the 2019 Sidney Street Market featured more than 150 vendors lined along Beacon Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney Street Market plans for 2021 return at Mary Winspear Centre

Tentative plan calls for the event’s return to Beacon Avenue after COVID-19 pandemic

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read