Police seek dedicated parking spot in Oak Bay Village

In an effort to be more visible in the village, Oak Bay police are asking for their own parking spot on the Avenue.

“All in all, it’s about getting a better presence in the shopping district here,” said interim Police Chief Derek Egan.

The police propose to create a parking space in front of the municipal hall between the bus zone and the pedestrian crosswalk. Currently, there is seven metres of available space in the yellow-painted curb zone that could be designated police-only parking, Egan said.

In a letter to Oak Bay police board, Egan wrote higher visibility is a priority to residents and was identified as a recommendation in a recent review of the police department by retired judge Alan Filmer.

While the police cruiser is parked, an officer could walk the beat along the avenue, giving residents an opportunity to talk to the officer. Egan added enough space is available that a parked car won’t limit visibility of pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Mayor Christopher Causton supported the idea.

Oak Bay council would have to change a bylaw to designate the space for police parking. Causton said the change would be discussed at council’s next meeting, March 28.