Esquimalt takes another step towards creating its own police force

Esquimalt takes another step towards creating its own police force
A VicPD Esquimalt Division vehicle is shown.

The Township of Esquimalt has taken another step towards creating its own municipal police force.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday night, councillors voted to pursue launching its own police detachment, instead of its current amalgamated force with Victoria.

“So the motion that was passed was that Esquimalt further explores the option of an Esquimalt Police Department, supported with special services by another municipal police department,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins on Wednesday.

That model would be similar to what the Oak Bay Police Department has set up with the Saanich Police Department, according to Desjardins.

Esquimalt councillors have long expressed dissatisfaction with the current amalgamated Victoria Police force.

Officials have said they feel like they pay more than their fair share for police services in the region.

What comes next?

While the motion to pursue a new Esquimalt police force was approved at the committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, it will still have to be ratified at a council meeting on Monday.

After that, the township will have to go to the Ministry of Public Safety to get approval to create its own police force.

On Wednesday, Desjardins said she was optimistic changes would be coming.

“I am optimistic, and the reason why is because when you outline the history, five councils have continued to go to the province about concerns about the set up we currently have in terms of the amalgamation,” she said.

“Continuously, over that time, we have moved this forward, inch by inch, gaining knowledge that supported the argument in the beginning – that we are completely different than Victoria and that it is very difficult and not equitable to have governance overline those two communities the way it is now.”

Dejardins says Esquimalt will continue to work with Victoria, as well as the Esquimalt and Victoria Police Board, on any changes and make sure any potential transition will be as smooth as possible.


Adam ChanAdam Chan

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