Del Manak, the acting chief constable with the Victoria Police Department, has been named the new top cop for the city.
The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board announced Tuesday afternoon at VicPD that Manak was the new chief constable.
“To come up through the ranks, and be in a leadership position, where I really have an opportunity now to connect with a lot of our young students and be a role model,” Manak said.
“And inspire them. Whatever their dreams are, that they are achievable. And I’m living proof of that. I think it’s a great message to send to our community.”
Manak said he is honoured and feels privileged to lead VicPD.
“Despite a history that reaches back to when Queen Victoria reigned, I’m proud to say that the men and women of VicPD look ahead at future opportunities as much as we look back to our past,” Manak said.
Manak was born and raised in Victoria and has been with VicPD since 1993.
“This is the first time in 26 years that someone from this department has become chief of this department,” Victoria Mayor and police board co-chair Lisa Helps said.
Manak said there are many challenges ahead and encourages communities to work with police to keep each other safe.
“Given recent events, policing must change in the face of new realities that include violent extremism and radicalization,” Manak said.
“We must be prepared to keep our communities safer than we have ever done before. But we must never stop working together. You only need to look south of the border to see how community-police relations can deteriorate, resulting in a lack of trust that may take generations to repair. We want to avoid this divide and embrace the diversity of our communities through continued engagement and two-way dialogue.
He also added he wants to work on increasing visibility of Victoria police officers.
Manak replaces Frank Elsner, who resigned last month and stopped receiving pay and employment benefits. Elsner stepped aside in December 2015 and had been suspended without pay since April 2016, after admitting in 2015 to sending inappropriate Twitter messages to the wife of one of his officers. It resulted in two separate investigations.
Last week, The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner for British Columbia asked the provincial government to review whether Victoria?s police board improperly used money that should have been spent on policing to cover Frank Elsner?s legal costs and hire a communications crisis consultant.