VicPd Chief says cuts may be coming as they deal with staffing shortage
Service cuts could be in Victoria Police Department's future. That's the word from Chief Del Manak after Esquimalt council rejected their portion of a funding increase to add more officers and staff.
Manak says in the past 8 years both Victoria and Esquimalt's populations have grown, along with the workload, and the department can no longer operate they way they have been.
Manak has been asked to provide the police board with options to keep policing services as effective as possible during the staff shortage. Meantime a dispute resolution process is being launched with the province under the police act:
" We had an independent review and a study that was done last year that indicated quite clearly that there's was a need for the police department to enhance frontline policing. So it's too bad we have to go down this road and follow this process which again could really tie up resourcing and time, in which case I have to make these changes. Even though they are temporary they may be for a lot longer than what the public would want. "
Manak won't speculate on what changes may need to be made.
Esquimalt council is responsible for close to 15% of the police budget. The increase they were being asked to approve was for just under $41-thousand. The vote was 4-3 against approving the increase. Mayor Bard Desjardins was amoing those who did not support the request, saying the township's crime rates are falling and councillors wanted to know at least 1 officer who be dedicated to their area.
Manak says while he appreciates Esquimalt's posaition, crime rates do not give a full picture of how much time police are spending dealing with many issues in a community.