A recent newspaper article suggested that policing partnerships in the Capital Region are on a ‘rocky road’. As the people responsible for managing and directing police work in this region, we have a very good sense of the state of relationships and partnerships with each other and we assure you that they are strong, effective, and productive.
The Capital Region’s Municipal Police Chiefs and Detachment Commanders meet monthly to discuss common issues and future opportunities to advance public safety across the region. When an integrated approach to policing makes sense from a business perspective and a service delivery standpoint, we collectively work through the details and make it happen. There are strong examples of successful integration in the region including the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit and the Integrated Road Safety Unit. We also continually re-examine our business practices and service delivery models to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency. In some cases this could mean discontinuing or making changes to an existing service.
Outside of the formal integrated arrangements, officers from departments and detachments across the region work seamlessly together on the front line every day. We can speak to each other on our radios and we use the same PRIME informatics system.
Our current approach allows us to deliver on our distinct community priorities, while ensuring that we come together where it makes sense to improve policing throughout the region and to ensure the highest standards of service are delivered. Our approach also recognizes that collaboration should not result in one of our communities seeing a reduction in service levels.
Any suggestion that your local police department is not partnering and cooperating with their neighbours around the region is not accurate and is misleading. The relationships among the area’s police chiefs have likely never been so strong.
While working well together may not make for a sensational headline, it is indeed the case, and we believe you should be accurately informed regardless of how uninteresting it may be to some.
Chief Frank Elsner, Victoria Police Department
Chief Bob Downie, Saanich Police Department
Chief Andy Brinton, Oak Bay Police Department
Chief Supt. Ray Bernoties, Island District RCMP
Chief Paul Hames, Central Saanich Police Service