Esquimalt Council has directed the Esquimalt Policing and Law Enforcement Advisory Panel to include an opportunity for public attendance at its meetings. In addition, Council stated that Panel meetings will include a public notification process in line with other committees of Council.
“This process is obviously taking longer than we had originally envisioned,” said Esquimalt Mayor and Panel Chair Barbara Desjardins. “We solicited and received public input during 2009 and 2010 and believe that the public is behind this process, but we want our community to come out and learn more about the workings of our Panel and where we are in the process now.”
The Province of BC is currently finalizing a contract with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police—the preferred proponent resulting from the Township’s Request for Proposal process—which will delay any decision by the Ministry of Justice regarding Esquimalt Council’s recommendation for policing services. The contract is expected to be signed by the end of March and made public in April.
“It will likely be the fall of 2012 before our Panel will have all of the relevant information in place to move forward with next steps for policing in our community,” said Mayor Desjardins.
The Panel is currently in the due diligence phase of the RFP process. This phase requires that it seek clarification from the RCMP on the details of its proposal. The Panel has recently met with representatives from both the RCMP and the Ministry of Justice as part of this due diligence. More meetings are planned for the coming months to further clarify the situation and resolve outstanding issues so that the Minister may make a decision on Esquimalt’s recommendation.
Future meetings of the Esquimalt Policing and Law Enforcement Advisory Panel will be posted at www.esquimalt.ca and on the public notice board at municipal hall. A portion of these meetings will be dedicated to answering questions from the public and updating interested residents on the current status of the policing services proposal process.
Update June 1st, 2012: Policing Panel 2012 Schedule of Public Meetings
For more information, please contact:
Barbara Desjardins, Mayor