Victoria watch group challenges top cop pay in Oak Bay

Victoria watch group challenges top cop pay in Oak Bay

Mayor stands by annual salary of police chief

The watchdog group Grumpy Taxpayer$ question transparency and pay after receiving the employment contract of Oak Bay’s chief constable, following freedom of information efforts by the group.

This issue of transparency was raised last fall after Saanich and VicPd posted the contract and salary of their top cops, following a substantial severance package to the chief of police in Saanich.

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By contract the Oak Bay chief of police is paid 185 per cent of a 1st class constable – currently $170,496 annually plus benefits.

“It’s too much pay to command a ‘boutique’ police department,” says Colin Nielsen, board member with Grumpy Taxpayer$. “It doesn’t have its own forensics, detective division, computer crimes unit, canine, etc. There’s 23 sworn officers and a few staff.”

The City of Victoria has a population of about 85,000 and the District of Saanich about 114,000, with much larger police forces, compared to Oak Bay with only 18,000 residents. The chief of police in Victoria was paid $218,000 plus benefits in 2017 and the Saanich chief earns $222,711 annually plus benefits, vacation, leaves of absence and reimbursement of expenses incurred on the job.

“The salary is in keeping with his level of experience and duties,” says Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen, also chair of the Oak Bay Police Board.

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