Victoria Police Department cuts six jobs amid funding impasse with Esquimalt

Victoria Police Department cuts six jobs amid funding impasse with Esquimalt - image

The Victoria Police Department has announced it’s cutting six positions after a funding request to get more boots on the ground was denied.

School Resource Officers, an Intelligence Officer, a Reserve Program Coordinator and Beat Officer have been reassigned to the front lines.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says because the department is shared between her city and Esquimalt, the two municipalities had to vote on the funding request.

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She says her city voted in favour, but because the other community felt that level of policing wasn’t needed, it voted no —  so the department was denied that money

“School resource officers in particular are a really important part of the prevention side of policing, which is really what we want to be spending most of our resources on, so I was disappointed to hear that,” she said.

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Helps says she hopes this is a temporary measure because according to the Police Act, when there is a disagreement about a line item in a budget, it goes to the province.

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“The Director of Police Services [will] make a determination about what is needed for adequate and effective policing in any one municipality,” Helps said.

“The director of police services will take the time that he needs to do the work, to make an assessment, and if the department is right and they do need those resources then the director of police services research should confirm that and we’ll be in a different position probably by next budget year.”

Global news has reached out to Esquimalt city staff for comment.

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