In a press release Thursday, VicPD announced they will be temporarily re-deploying officers to the patrol division in order to assist frontline call response.
The measure, which will begin this weekend, is in response to anticipated staffing shortages due to the quickly spreading Omicron variant.
According to VicPD, there are currently over 50 officers off work, primarily due to injury but also for training or administrative purposes.
VicPD is working to plan ahead to address the already imminent staffing challenges, only believed to increase with the increasing number of Omicron variant cases.
“Maintaining the continuity of police operations during this global pandemic is critical,” said Chief Del Manak.
“I am extremely grateful to our officers who are adjusting their shifts and schedules to serve on the frontlines, ensuring that citizens of Victoria and Esquimalt know that when they call 911, a uniformed officer will respond to their call for help.”
This redeployment marks the first time VicPD has enacted a clause in the collective agreement between the Victoria Police Department and the Victoria City Police Union (VCPU) to allow for this redeployment.
“The VCPU and VicPD are working together as we respond to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency,” said VCPU spokesperson Matt Waterman.
“The Union will continue to monitor and hopes the emergent situation will be resolved shortly so workers can return to their regular duties and schedule.”