Esquimalt, BC—Esquimalt council has voted unanimously not to renew the 10-year Framework Agreement between the township, City of Victoria and the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board.
The agreement, which outlines budget and resource allocations between the two municipalities, is up for renewal this year for another 10-year term.
Rather than renew, council voted to provide notice to the Province of B.C., the Police Board and the City of Victoria of the Township’s desire to elect not to extend the current Agreement.
“We did not make this decision lightly,” said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “However this is not a sudden or new problem – Esquimalt has been burdened by this model for many years. Council is looking at all options with safety, costs and fairness in mind.”
“Both Councils and the Police Board have worked diligently to make the best out of the situation we are in. The fact remains that two municipalities are making decisions on one budget, regardless of their vastly different needs and it’s challenging on both sides. This issue represents a significant amount of Esquimalt taxpayer’s money that could be used on a variety of projects of benefit to the community. Given that we are at the end of the current agreement, it would be irresponsible to not do our due diligence in considering all our police servicing options.”
Council authorized staff to proceed with a request for proposals to identify a consultant to propose one or more police service delivery models, including a transition plan for Council’s consideration and for staff to develop a public engagement strategy.
The township is also requesting $150,000 from the Province to prepare a proposal for a policing model and transition plan for the Township of Esquimalt.
It is anticipated by staff that a new service delivery model can be decided on and submitted to the Province for review including a transition plan prior to the expiration of the agreement on December 31, 2023.
The township held an extensive public consultation campaign this spring. The resulting public engagement report contained a great deal of information pertaining to resident attitudes and wishes relating to police service delivery and six recommendations for moving forward.
One important outcome of the public consultation was that 74 per cent of people support council in their strategic priority to further review options in the delivery of policing services.
To “Review all alternatives for provision of police services to the community” is part of Council’s strategic plan.
The Request for Proposals to hire consultants to prepare a Police Service Model report and a transition plan for delivery of Township of Esquimalt policing services will be published August 17, 2022.
Construction plans for the new public safety building remain unaffected.
Learn about policing in Esquimalt at esquimalt.ca/policing.
- In 2020, the CSI for violent crimes in Esquimalt was 111 points lower than Victoria and 45 points lower than the B.C. average. (source, Stats Canada)
- In 2020, the CSI for non-violent crimes in Esquimalt was 135 points lower than Victoria and 61 points lower than the B.C. average. (source, Stats Canada)
- In 2022, Esquimalt’s share of the total police budget is 13.67%, which accounts for 22% ($8.4 million) of the Township’s annual budget.
- Police services in Esquimalt has the second highest total operating costs among comparable jurisdictions (all with populations of 15,000-25,000 residents) in B.C.
- The operating costs per capita for police services in Esquimalt were the highest among comparable municipalities.
- Esquimalt has the highest total operating costs per officer in the CRD.
- Police Act Section 42 Review Budget Allocation Formula For Policing In The City Of Victoria And The Township Of Esquimalt
- Police Act Section 42 Phase II Review: Analysis Of “Framework Agreement” Issues Regarding Policing In The City Of Victoria And The Township Of Esquimalt
- 2014 Policing Framework Agreement
- Community Policing Engagement Strategy: Final Report
- Factsheet: Community Well-Being
- Factsheet: Value For Money
- Factsheet: Prevention & Response
Tara Zajac, Manager of Communications