New Victoria police budget calls for 6 more officers, new civilian positions
The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board will be presenting its proposed budget for 2022 next week, which includes the addition of six more officers.
The police board says that additional officers would help with a range of activities, including cybercrime and community outreach with people of colour.
The budget would also include several new civilian positions, which would relieve pressure from officers, according to the board.
"For the past two years, because of pandemic-related constraints faced by our local government partners, the police budget has not requested substantial additional resources," said Doug Crowder, police board finance committee chair, in a release Thursday.
"This year, to respond to issues emerging in our communities, we look forward to working with both Councils to present and adopt a budget that meets the needs for public safety and community wellbeing in Victoria and Esquimalt," he said.
The police board says the budget was created after it completed several business cases on how the requested resources would be used.
"This budget reflects the realities that our communities are facing with police left to pick up the pieces of a health system that doesn’t meet the needs of our most marginalized residents," said Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria and co-chair of the police board.
"The three new officers for the co-responder teams will be in plain clothes and accompanied by a psychiatric nurse," she said. "This is a complementary program to the one in development by the City of Victoria and the Canadian Mental Health Association."
The police board will present the proposed 2022 budget to Victoria and Esquimalt city councils on Oct. 19.
The presentation will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and members of the public can watch the proposal online here.
Both municipalities are expected to review the budget proposal into early 2022.