Victoria Police Department seeks provincial budget review for second year in a row

VicPD hopes to see four more staff positions after request was denied in the 2019 budget

For the second year in a row the Victoria Police Department is seeking a provincial review for additional staff positions.

In 2018, the Victoria Police Department requested funding to hire six new police officers, a decision supported by the City of Victoria, but vetoed by the Township of Esquimalt. In response, VicPD sought out a review from the province, and in February learned that the Police Services Division agreed, forcing the hand of both Esquimalt and Victoria to pay for the additional positions.

READ MORE: Province sides with VicPD in decision to hire six more officers

Now, VicPD is seeking a second provincial review for its 2019 budget request, which were denied.

The request asked for four additional positions: a cyber crime sergeant ($160,477), a research analyst civilian position ($107, 942) and two Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Officers ($267,462).

The Township of Esquimalt had approved the two ACT positions but was vetoed by Victoria.

“The board believes these positions are important for community safety,” said Sean Powell, chair of finance on the Victoria Police Board. “They will help manage current and future operational demands, which continue to go up in both volume and complexity.”

Powell added that it was a tough decision to go forward with a second review request, especially as 2020 budget decisions are now being made.

ALSO READ: Victoria Police Department requests $2.5 million increase for 2020 budget

Powell said, however, that negotiations for 2020 have been going smoother than before.

“I was really impressed with our budget process this year, with both Esquimalt and Victoria councils. It was more collaborative and we had additional meetings,” he said. “I believe both councils understand where our requests are coming from.”

In 2020, the Victoria police board request the hiring of four civilian positions as Special Municipal Constables for a pilot program. Budget decisions won’t be made until the new year.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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