It is generally recognized that there are significant benefits gained through inter-force cooperation. This includes economies of scale, access to specialized equipment, training, personnel, and increased effectiveness in addressing criminal activity that affects more than one community. Several integrated teams have been developed in the CRD, showing the high level of cooperation among the forces and the common goal of effective policing. This has been further enhanced by including experts from non-police agencies in the areas of mental health and social work, which has led to a holistic approach to areas such as domestic violence cases and persons with mental health or addiction issues. The CRD is well served by these integrated units and the Oak Bay Police Department is proud to be a partner.
Governance of the area’s integrated teams is provided by a Joint Management Team made up of Deputy Chiefs from the participating forces. Funding for the teams comes from the communities served through a comprehensive funding formula. In certain cases, funding comes from Federal or Provincial sources.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia is mandated to facilitate the disruption and suppression of organized crime groups and individuals who pose the highest risk to public safety due to gang violence. It is an integrated joint forces operation that develops and draws upon highly skilled officers from federal, provincial and municipal agencies. This integrated approach enhances intelligence sharing, coordination and strategic development against threats of violence posed by organized crime groups and gangs in our province.
The Oak Bay Police Department currently has one officer seconded full time to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. This position is fully funded through a Provincial and Federal Government partnership.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is a community, media, and police cooperative program designed to involve the public in the fight against crime. It guarantees anonymity to people wishing to provide tips on crime. It is run by two civilian Program Coordinators, overseen by a Board of Directors. Together, they are responsible for all aspects of the program, including tip management, operations policy, standards, fundraising, promotion, and education and awareness. The program serves the CRD, including some of the Gulf Islands. While reward payouts for tips and advertising are based on donations, the staffing and administration are funded by the participating communities.
The Oak Bay Police Department contributed $8,268 to this unit in 2020.
Crowd Management Unit
The Greater Victoria, Crowd Management Unit, is comprised of 48 police officers from the municipal police agencies in the Capital Regional District. Officers in the unit receive specialized training in crowd control techniques and tactics relevant to responding to large demonstrations.
The Oak Bay Police Department contributed $5,425 to the unit in 2020.
Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team
GVERT consists of a team of specially trained officers that are called in to deal with high-risk arrests and violent barricaded persons. Team members undergo an extensive and challenging selection process and attend monthly training sessions to maintain their skill set. As a result, the team has safely resolved hundreds of incidents in the Capital Regional District. In addition, an Explosives Ordinance Disposal unit and Crisis Negotiation Team are embedded in the GVERT.
The Oak Bay Police Department contributed $68,752 to participate in this unit in 2020.
The Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Team (I.M.C.R.T.) consists of eight professionals, including psychiatric nurses, social programs officers, youth and child clinicians and police officers. The team assists our department in dealing with crisis response incidents involving individuals suffering from a mental illness. This interdisciplinary response ensures that appropriate information is shared in a timely manner, ensuring safety for the officers attending the situation and those that they are dealing with to resolve the issue. This team has the ability and resources to assist with all age groups and has the expertise and training to assist with the full spectrum of crises caused by mental health issues and addictions.
The Oak Bay Police Department currently contributes $18,175 to participate in this unit (2020).
Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET)
National Security requires an integrated approach to ensure early detection and prevention of potential threats to Canada and the public. The reality of terrorism has heightened the importance of greater integration of resources and intelligence for many countries, including Canada.
The RCMP has refocused its National Security Investigations Sections (NSIS) to become Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSETs) in major centres throughout the country. The purpose for this is to increase the capacity for the collection, sharing and analysis of intelligence among partners concerning individuals and entities that are a threat to national security and; create an enhanced investigative capacity to bring such individuals and entities to justice; and to improve partner agencies collective ability to combat national security threats and meet all specific mandate responsibilities, consistent with the laws of Canada and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
INSETs are made up of representatives of the RCMP, federal partners and agencies such as Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and provincial and municipal police services.
Through shared federal, provincial and municipal resources – INSET members are better able to track, deter, disrupt and prevent criminal activities (major or minor offences) of terrorist groups or individuals who pose a threat to Canada’s national security. In addition, this type of increased capacity enables INSET members to work with their partners nationally and internationally.
Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU)
The Integrated Road Safety Unit, more commonly known as IRSU, was formed in 2004 and comprises fifteen traffic enforcement officers from the RCMP and Municipal Police agencies across the Capital Regional District.
IRSU’s mandate is to reduce harm on BC roadways. This is accomplished by conducting strategic traffic enforcement in high collision areas to reduce severe injuries and fatal collisions. IRSU focuses on high-risk driving behaviours such as seatbelt compliance, speed, impaired, aggressive and distracted driving, which contribute to serious injury and fatal collisions on our roadways. IRSU also focuses on criminal interdiction and commercial vehicle enforcement.
The Oak Bay Police Department currently has one officer seconded full time to the Integrated Road Safety Unit. The Province of British Columbia fully funds this position.
Mobile Youth Service Team (MYST)
The Mobile Youth Service Team (MYST) was created in 2001 to address sexually exploited youth in the CRD. MYST is enabled by area police departments that support a plainclothes police officer position that deals with high-risk youth from ages 13 to 18.
The primary responsibilities of the MYST officer are:
- Designing and delivering educational presentations to the youth and the community on sexual exploitation and drug awareness.
- Gathering of criminal intelligence on the activities of the child sex workers and the pimps who exploit children.
- Criminal enforcement – targeting pimps, “johns,” and recruiters.
- Working closely with the Youth Empowerment Society, Youth Probation, street-level outreach workers, school counselors, the Boys and Girls Club and many other youth organizations in the community.
- Supporting youth at risk and their families.
- Monitoring youth court when possible, as well as assisting at-risk youth through the court process.
The Oak Bay Police Department contributed $7,833 to participate in this unit in 2019.
Regional Domestic Violence Unit
The RDVU provides follow-up services to select domestic violence cases where there is an elevated risk to victims and/or their children, accompanied by a need for intensive victim support. The team includes police, community-based victim service providers, and the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). Assigned members work full-time on team activities. In addition, the Victoria Woman’s Transition House, MCFD and all CRD police agencies participate.
The Oak Bay Police Department contributed $25,775 to participate in this unit in 2020.
Member agencies of VIMCU are the RCMP, Victoria Police Department, Central Saanich Police Service, Saanich Police Department and the Oak Bay Police Department. This unit’s mandate includes homicides, missing persons where foul play is suspected, police-related shootings causing bodily harm and/or death, police in-custody deaths, and unsolved homicides. The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit is intended to gain the benefits of integration, where an effective case management system enhances communication and cooperation between the agencies to optimize and ensure the success of the major crime investigations.
The Oak Bay Police Department contributed $88,769 to this unit in 2020.