VicPD announced this morning that they are reassigning seven officers to be redeployed to their patrol division.
Officers are being reassigned from the Capital Regional Distrct’s Integrated Road Safety Unit (CRD-IRSU), the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit-BC (CFSEU-BC), and the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET).
Chief Del Manak cited officer injuries, both physical and psychological, combined with the volume, complexity and severity of recent calls.
In September, a total of four officers were allegedly assaulted in three separate incidents.
Also, during a Chantel Moore memorial at the BC legislature on September 18th, Chief Del Manak was allegedly assaulted.
While he was observing the ceremony after giving a speech, a woman walked up and poured liquid down Manak’s back from behind—he was not physically harmed.
Changes and shifts to VicPD are expected to take effect on November 7th and VicPD said this change will meet better public expectations.
The reassignment may come as no surprise to some.
Following a police shooting that took one man’s life on September 12th, Victoria City Police Union (VCPU) released a statement, specifically calling on local governments for more action to combat mental health crisis management.
“The VCPU is not happy with the proverbial ‘revolving door’ that seems to be increasing the likelihood that people in crisis are not getting the support they need,” said VCPU Union Spokesperson, Matt Waterman.
Mayor Helps and Mayor Desjardins acknowledged the “gaps” in the justice and health system.
“Our officers are being left to pick up the pieces and fill the gaps in what are revolving doors in the criminal justice system and the health system. There are not enough services available for people, nor are there the right kinds of services for those who most need them,” their statement read.
While VCPU are feigning responsibility to public officials, both Mayor Helps and Mayor Desjardins provided no real conclusion on what they are doing to combat the crisis.
“It is clearly not working to release people with high needs back into the community without the appropriate support and resources to keep them and the public safe, and our officers out of harm’s way,” the joint statement concluded.
Now, it appears VicPD is opting for reassignment as their best course of action to mitigate the staffing shortages and challenges of “ensuring adequate deployment of frontline resources to respond to calls from our community,” VicPD said.
In 2018, VicPD reassigned six officers – including three school liaison officers, an intelligence officer, a reserve program officer and a beat officer – to their patrol division.
In 2019, VicPD disbanded their Crime Reduction Unit (CRU).
Despite frontline challenges, and what VicPD deems is because of a lack of support for mental health crisis management, the Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Team (IMCRT) will still be operational.