Although, like many Esquimalt residents, I support Mayor Barb Desjardins’ efforts to find a policing model that works for Esquimalt, I do take exception to some of the things which have been published in your letters section.
Here are a few points I’d like to make:
1. The purchase of Dodge Chargers as police cars is perfectly acceptable – complaining about this is, frankly, asinine.
2. The vast majority of Esquimalt residents have no problem with the professionalism, dedication and the response times of the Victoria police.
The problem is with what that service costs us, and whether we could get the same level of service for a lower cost if we were not (alone, among Greater Victoria communities) being forced to pay for downtown Victoria’s problems as well as our own.
3. In my view, this issue is going to play out one of two ways: either the request for proposals will show us that we are wrong and that we are getting good value for our money, or we will be proven correct and will end up policed by another force.
All of that said, it would be unfair not to note that the City of Victoria and the VicPD are being treated a bit unfairly in all of this.
They are, like it or not, the “downtown” of Greater Victoria. As a result of this, the City of Victoria has to deal with a disproportionate share of the homelessness, drug addiction and crime in our region.
I am not going to advocate the amalgamation of all of our communities into one, but regional police models of one force serving several municipalities work very well in other jurisdictions, and it may be time for us all to swallow our reservations and work together to share the policing burden equally.