Victoria has the heaviest police presence per capita in Canada
It may surprise you to know that among Canadian cities of 100-thousand population or more, Victoria has the heaviest police presence per capita.
According to Statistics Canada, VicPD has 243 police officers -- or about one for every 425 people in Victoria and Esquimalt.
But VicPD's Acting Police Chief Del Manek says the department is responsible for a downtown core that draws people from 13 municipalities, and it consumes a lot of resources:
"Our downtown policing responsibilities in a provincial capital, the number of issues that we deal with which includes maintaining social order - like homelessness, addiction, mental health -- a lot of those services are located in downtown Victoria. And so people are going to come to those services, and there's a higher concentration of crime and disorder, which then requires more police officers for us."
Manek adds Victoria has a vibrant downtown, but also a disproportionate number of liquor-related businesses that add to the workload.
Stats Canada acknowledges there are many reasons why police forces can have so much staff, and it's not always connected to a high crime rate.
Coquitlam and Surrey also ranked at the top of the list for police department staffing.