Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak says a regional police force would be more efficient, but much more so with full amalgamation. News files

Victoria, Saanich want to get the conversation going on regional policing in the CRD

VicPD Chief Const. Del Manak on board with a municipal review of services

The idea of a regional police force for Greater Victoria is back on the table, and even VicPD’s chief is on board with a review of the matter.

The region’s two largest municipalities started the ball rolling again on the conversation, with Victoria and Saanich councils passing motions this week recommending local municipalities open discussions on the idea. Both motions also ask the provincial government to establish and fund a citizen’s assembly on general amalgamation with interested municipalities.

RELATED: Saanich councillor tempers amalgamation talk

Victoria police Chief Const. Del Manak supports reviewing the idea of a regional police department and equated Greater Victoria’s current model with each neighbourhood in the City of Vancouver having its own police force. A regional force would make the delivery of service more efficient, he said, and would make it easier to do cross-jurisdictional work.

But for it to be truly effective, Manak believes a regional government is necessary.

“The model we currently have is not the most efficient and effective model for the delivery of services, including policing,” he said. “Even though we communicate and discuss incidents, there are criminals that are crossing borders every day when you have smaller borders.

“I believe in [having] the proper governance structure in place before there is a regional police force. There should be one region, one municipality, and that provides the proper government structure for all the special services.”

RELATED: Amalgamated Victoria-Esquimalt police service here to stay

Coun. Jeremy Loveday brought the motion to Victoria council’s committee of the whole Thursday, Jan. 11. He voted in favour of amalgamation on the referendum held during the last civic election, and said regional policing makes sense.

“It’s been 100 years that our communities have been having these discussions, and it’s time to either move forward or not, and put this to rest for maybe a few decades,” he said.

RELATED: Region’s mayors to put policing under the microscope

Mayor Lisa Helps said she is meeting with Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell next week to discuss regional policing.

“There is willingness in Victoria, Esquimalt and Saanich to move in this direction,” she said. “If we get there, then Oak Bay will have to come along, quite frankly.”

Establishing a regional police force is one of the services that have been considered by local governments in previous discussions on amalgamation. Victoria-Esquimalt, Saanich, Oak Bay and Central Saanich have municipal departments, while the RCMP are contracted to police the West Shore and Sidney-North Saanich.

– By Lauren Boothby

editor@vicnews.com

City of VictoriaVicPD

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

Just Posted

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

Work on Sidney’s Reay Creek Dam won’t wrap until 2021

Municipality expects the pond to be ‘partially drained’ again in 2021

Driver crashes into Langford physiotherapy business

Crews on scene, traffic may be impacted

UPDATED: Police seek dangerous, ‘high-risk sex offender’ last seen in Victoria

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read