Victoria council move to limit VicPD budget increase will “significantly jeopordize public safety”: Police Board

Victoria council move to limit VicPD budget increase will "significantly jeopordize public safety": Police Board

The Police Board is pulling no punches in its assessment of a Victoria council move to limit VicPD’s budget increase for 2019.

A letter to council signed by Victoria & Esquimalt Police Board co-chairs Lisa Helps and Barb Desjardins says the decision will result in service reductions and ” in our opinion would significantly jeopardize public safety.”

The Police Board had already recommended that VicPD’s budget increase request of 6% for 2019 be approved.

Instead, a majority of council voted to limit the budget increase to inflation (2.4%) + 1%, mayor Helps voted against the motion.

“It is important to note that Councils’ motions would result in a reduction of $1.67 million from VicPD’s anticipated budget for 2019, and a reduction in the proposed core budget of $1.12 million,” the letter reads.

“A reduction of this magnitude would translate into a staffing reduction of up to nine unionized officers and civilian employees.”

Councillors who supported the motion point out that VicPD will still see a sizable budget increase in 2019, the largest of any city department, and argue that the limit is reasonable.

The Board disagrees,  “It is the opinion of the Board that VicPD’s 2019 budget request is what is required to police this jurisdiction. As a result, we are advising Council that our 2019 budget recommendation remains as originally submitted.”

Ben O'HaraBen O'Hara

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