Victoria Police Chief Del Manak will be keeping his job for another four years, after the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board voted to extend his contract on Tuesday.
Manak’s new contract will run from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2024. His previous contract as Chief Constable was set to expire at the end of 2020.
The Chief received high praise from Mayors Barbara Desjardins and Lisa Helps, who both serve as Board co-chairs.
“Chief Manak is a proven leader who has successfully led VicPD since 2015,” said Desjardins.
“Chief Manak’s reappointment comes at a time with significant changes and challenges in policing,” added Helps.
“I am happy that the Board has decided to reappoint Chief Manak at this time.”
The Board credited Manak with the creation of VicPD’s new Strategic Plan A Safer Community Together and raising issues of mental health in officers.
In recent weeks, however, the VicPD Chief has courted controversy in the media.
He recently appeared on CTV Calgary and claimed that homeless individuals were using CERB money to move to Victoria. Manak offered no hard evidence for the claim, aside from anecdotal reports from his officers.
In late August Manak also slammed the appearance of the letters “ACAB” in a mural painted in Bastion Square to support the Black Lives Matter movement. “ACAB” is widely understood to mean “All Cops Are Bad/Bastards.”
And just last week he took to Twitter in an apparent move to criticize calls to defund police in favour of social supports, saying that violent calls “require police response (proper training and tools), not social workers.”
Quick, measured response by @vicpdcanada this AM to apprehend a violent male under the Mental Health Act. Calls such as this require police response (proper training and tools), not social workers. Hoping the male gets the help he needs. https://t.co/WFZw5lVO5M
— Del Manak (@ChiefManak) September 11, 2020
In a statement on the VicPD website, Manak wrote that he was “honoured and humbled” by the Board’s decision to extend his contract.
“We have our work cut out for us,” said Manak.
“In my 27 years with VicPD, I have never seen our officers and staff as busy as they are today. And with increasing demands for policing services throughout Victoria and Esquimalt, I don’t see that trend reversing any time soon.”