Steve Hurcombe (left), VicPD control, Chief Const. Del Manak, and Police Board member Sean Powell presented the proposed 2020 police budget to city councillors. (Screenshot/City of Victoria)

Steve Hurcombe (left), VicPD control, Chief Const. Del Manak, and Police Board member Sean Powell presented the proposed 2020 police budget to city councillors. (Screenshot/City of Victoria)

Victoria Police Department requests $2.5 million increase for 2020 budget

VicPD answers council questions about requested cost expenditures

The Victoria Police Department is requesting a 4.43 per cent increase for its 2020 budget, bringing its grand total up to $58,241, 090.

In a budgetary council meeting on Thursday morning, Victoria Police Chief Const. Del Manak, Police Board member Sean Powell and Victoria Police controller Steve Hurcombe explained their reasoning behind the $2.5 million increase request.

The majority of these costs will go to the full-year salary for six additional police officers hired in 2019, an increase to its capital funding to bring it back to its 2018 levels, wage inflation, retirement payouts, the cost for a pilot project on hiring special municipal constables and increased funding for employee health and wellness initiatives.

ALSO READ: Six new police officers add $300,000 to Victoria’s 2019 budget

Manak added that certain steps had been taken to save costs, including pooling portable radios to save $75,000 per year, having volunteers and reserve police perform more than 20,000 hours of work, and gathering provincial paybacks on a case-by-case basis for overtime and resources used on larger criminal investigations.

Some items which had been requested and denied in 2019 and were not renewed on the 2020 budget included a cyber crimes sergeant, a research analyst and Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) officers.

“We agonized over the tough decisions we have to make, and endeavor to meet your financial expectations,” Powell said. “Part of that agonization is knowing that this budget we bring forward today … it doesn’t allow the ability to continue being innovative, it doesn’t reduce wait times, it doesn’t do a lot of things.”

Councillors were interested in the 2020 hiring for four special municipal constables, who would be unarmed civilians aiding in low-risk, lower-training police duties.

ALSO READ: VicPD budget request sparks debate on role of police in mental health, addiction calls

These duties might include jail operations, traffic control, subpoena services, court liaison services, front desk duties, logistics assistance, public complaints, data entry of files, guarding low-risk apprehensions at hospitals, following up with businesses for the recovery of surveillance video, locating next of kin and working at special events.

After asking many additional questions about police procedures, councillors put forward two motions.

Coun. Ben Isitt, who expressed frustration about the police department receiving the highest portion of the city’s budget, put forward a motion for council to write to the province to further consider a more sustainable, regional police force.

ALSO READ: Victoria agrees to fund Canada Day, special event policing – calls on feds to cover military events

“Fiscally, council is reluctant or unwilling to fund requests that VicPD thinks is necessary, so rather than an internal discussion we should be bringing the province into the conversation, since ultimately policing is a provincial issue,” Isitt said.

Coun. Jeremy Loveday also put forward a motion to ask staff to report back on the implication of bringing back the special events policing budget back into the police budget, not to the city’s.

Both motions passed unanimously, and further details of the police budget will be further discussed in the upcoming months.

nicole.cresenzi@vicnews.com

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

budgetCity of VictoriaVicPDVictoria Police Department

Just Posted

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read