Media Releases

Saanich Police are warning the public, specifically members of our Chinese community, as they recently investigated an elaborate extortion scheme consistent with a “virtual kidnapping.”

Detectives were requested to assist with an in-progress event on October 23, 2019 that occurred in the City of Vancouver.  Saanich Police are warning the public, specifically members of our Chinese community, as they recently investigated an elaborate extortion scheme consistent with a “virtual kidnapping.” Detectives were requested to assist with an in-progress event on October 23, 2019 that occurred in the City of Vancouver.

Although the investigation is still ongoing, the family in Saanich were contacted and an attempt to extort money ensured in this elaborate scheme. The family, believing their loved on was in danger, contacted police to report the kidnapping. The decision to quickly contact local police, was instrumental in thwarting this fraud attempt.

There appears to be some common themes in these incidents. “The victim typically receives a phone call and is convinced there is a warrant for their arrest in China, or that Chinese police need help with an investigation,” says S/Sgt Chris Horsley, SPD.  “The suspects then tell the victim to go into hiding and to make fake videos claiming they’ve been kidnapped. The scammers send the videos to the victim’s family and friends asking for money to pay for their release.”“Police from outside Canada will never arrest you in this country, ask for photos or videos of yourself pretending to be a victim of crime,” says S/Sgt Horsley. “Any contact from international authorities should be through your local police.

What can you do?  If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the Chinese Consulate or the Chinese Police who ask you to participate in a similar occurrence, you are asked to call our non-emergency line at (250) 475-4321, or your local police.Speak with family, students and visitors in your community from mainland China about these extortions and encourage them to contact police if they feel unsafe or are contacted by people claiming to be the Chinese authorities who are asking them to pretend to be the victim of a crime.


1. The Chinese Police or government cannot arrest you in Canada.

2. All policing related contact from the Chinese government will be through local police.

3. Canadian or Chinese authorities will not ask you to destroy a phone or to take photos or videos of yourself pretending to be the victim of a crime.

4. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be the Chinese police and they ask you to be of assist and investigation by pretending to be the victim of a crime, call (250) 475-4321 for assistance (even if they tell you not to).

5. The Saanich Police are here to help you. If you feel unsafe or threatened, please call us either by dialing 911 or (250) 475-4321.

Det. Staff Sergeant Chris Horsley #50

On October 25, 2019, members of the Saanich Police attended to a report of a sexual assault which had occcured at the Galey Farms Halloween Corn Maze.

The 16-year old victim was walking in the maze with her mother, when she was touched from behind in a sexual manner. Prior to the assault, comments were made by the teens. The mother and daughter quickly identified a group of 13-year old boys, but weren't able to identify the specific party responsible as the maze was very busy at the time of the incident.

Staff and Security at Galey Farms assisted, and can confirm that 3 teens were detained upon police arrival.Parents were contacted and attended Galey Farms, and the investigation is ongoing as police seek witnesses or other potential victims who may have been assaulted or approached in a similar manner.

The Saanich Police take incidents like this seriously, as assaults of this nature direclty impact the safety and security of the members of our community. The youths were brazen enough to commit this act even though the victim was walking with her mother, and investigators hope to identify the party responsible as the investigation continues.

Det. Staff Sergeant Chris Horsley

Over this past summer, Saanich Police asked the community for feedback on our strategic plan as part of our overall work evaluating the Plan and its impact. We asked stakeholders for input on the quality and usefulness of the plan to them, and what they would like to see in the plan in future.

More than 250 community members responded.  You can find the report outlining the findings HERE.

Some highlights of findings from those who had read the plan include:

  •      72% said it was “very high quality” or “high quality” (25% were neutral)
  •      67% said it was “very useful” or “useful” (28% were neutral)
  •      77% indicated that the plan increased their understanding of the Saanich Police (18% were neutral)
  •      65% thought based on the content, Saanich Police understood their or their organization’s needs (30% were neutral)
  •      68% indicated that the information in the plan increased their confidence in Saanich Police (29% neutral)

Police Board - Saanich 1 - Public Member

Requisition # 2331111
Job Location Canada-British Columbia-Victoria
Additional Location Details Saanich
Job Stream Executive
Job Type Appointment, Part-Time
Number of Positions Open 1
Posting Date 18-Oct-2019
Expiry Date 03-Nov-2019
Educational Requirements N/A
Languages Required English
Job Description

Business and Structure

There are 11 municipal police departments in British Columbia serving the following communities: Abbotsford, Delta, Central Saanich, Nelson, New Westminster, Oak Bay, Port Moody, Saanich, Vancouver, Victoria and Esquimalt, and West Vancouver.

The Police Act requires each municipal police department to have a board consisting of:

  • The mayor who acts as board chair
  • One person appointed by the municipal council
  • Up to seven people appointed by the province

The appointment criteria and process allows municipal governments to contribute to the makeup of their police board while also distancing the boards from regular council operations. This ensures independence which is fundamental to policing in a free and democratic society.

For further information, please visit the Saanich Police Board and Saanich Police Department websites.

Strategic Direction

Under the Police Act, municipal police boards are required each year to determine the priorities, goals, and objectives of the department, in consultation with the Chief Constable.

Police organizations today face challenges and difficult decisions resulting from three major factors: increasing service expectations, more sophisticated criminal activity, and limited financial and human resources.

Please check the Saanich Police Department website for information.

Vacant Position(s)

Experience and Qualifications

While previous experience as a director is not required, it is important that candidates for positions understand the roles and responsibilities of a member of a board and have the necessary experience and demonstrated skills to enable them to contribute to board decision-making and oversight.

Part of the organization’s commitment to good governance includes the provision of a comprehensive orientation for new board members and ongoing professional development for new members.

Diversity and Inclusion

People from all regions of our province are invited to help renew B.C.’s public sector boards. Consideration will be given to qualified individuals with a broad range of backgrounds in community, labour and business environments. The selection process will recognize lived experience and volunteer roles as well as paid employment and academic achievements.

To support strong boards that reflect the diversity of our province, women, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (LGBTQ2S+), and others who may contribute to diversity in public sector board appointments are encouraged to put their names forward for appointments.


There is currently one vacancy on the Board. The following are the attributes sought for the position currently under consideration:

  • Indigenous Representation;
  • Human Resources Expertise;
  • Financial Expertise;
  • Technology Expertise;
  • Governance Expertise;
  • Knowledge of Government and the Public Sector environment;
  • Community Outreach; and
  • Those who identify as a minority, either through ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other.

Time Commitment

Normally, the Board meets 10 times per year, generally on the 1st Tuesday of every month from approximately 2:30pm. Meetings take place at the Saanich Police Department.

In addition, most board members serve on one or more board committees.  


Under subsection 24(2)(a) of the Police Act a person appointed to a municipal police board under section 23 holds office for a term, not longer than four years, that the Lieutenant Governor in Council determines. Under subsection 24(3) of the Act, members are limited to a term of six consecutive years.

The initial appointment is generally for a one-year term.


Police Board members are not remunerated, they serve as volunteers. Members are reimbursed for any reasonable travelling and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred in discharging duties as a board member.

Governance Structure

Police boards in British Columbia operate independently from municipal council and the Provincial Government. Under their mandate, municipal police boards have four main governance functions as follows:

    • Establish the municipal police department (including hiring the Chief Constable);
    • Provide primary financial oversight for the municipal police department;
    • Establishes policies and directions for the municipal police department; and
    • Manage aspects of misconduct, complaints, investigations, discipline and proceedings.

Board Responsibilities and Accountabilities


The role of the board is to oversee the provision of police services, including law enforcement and crime prevention. In short, police boards act as conduit between the community and the police.

Specifically, police board policy functions include the following:

a.      Establishes policies for the effective management of the police service;

b.      Outlining results policies and values for the service to adhere;

c.       Developing the annual department priorities, goals and objectives in consultation with the Chief Constable;

d.      Approves capital and operating budget prior to submission to the city council; and

e.      Clarifying board/staff relationships including the appointment of the Chief Constable other constables and civilian employee;

f.        Making rules, guidelines and policies for the administration of the police service, and for the efficient discharge of duties by municipal constables.

The Chief Constable is responsible for daily policing and other operational matters. The Police Act stipulates that the board shall not direct the Chief of Police with respect to the day to day operations of the police service.


Each police board is mandated to establish and operate a police department in their municipality responsible for enforcing bylaws and criminal and provincial laws, maintaining order and preventing crime.

A police board sets the priorities, goals and objectives for its police department and develops the annual police department budget. The police board is responsible for service and policy complaints related to its police department. The board strives for a fair and responsive interaction between police and the community.

The goal of the province and the municipalities is to have police boards that reflect community demographics and that consist of qualified people who have shown they can act in the best public interest.


Municipal police boards are accountable to the following groups:

To the community that they serve: Board members should develop mechanisms to acquire information and input from the community. Feedback could be sought on such items as:

  • what the policing issues are;
  • how well the police are carrying out their duties; and
  • what changes citizens feel are needed in response to changing circumstances.

Board meetings are open to the public except for “in-camera” items.

To the police department: Through senior management, board members should inform sworn-in and civilian staff of what is expected of them and what the community wants them to accomplish. They must also act as a buffer to ensure that the police are not subject to political interference.

To the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General: Board members need to ensure that they exchange information with ministry officials on a timely basis and that they fulfil all requirements for reporting and information-sharing established under the Police Act. This includes filing of rules and minutes of board meetings with the Director, which enables the board’s decisions to be enforced.

To other oversight and coordination bodies: Such as the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, which enables the board to work collaboratively and more effectively for their departments and communities.

Board Composition

The individuals who make up the Board should, collectively, have the necessary personal attributes and competencies required to:

  • add value and provide support for management in establishing strategy and reviewing risks and opportunities;
  • effectively monitor the performance of management and the organization; and
  • account for the performance of the organization.

Personal Attributes

All directors should possess the following personal attributes:

  • high ethical standards and integrity in professional and personal dealings;
  • appreciation of the responsibilities to the public;
  • able and willing to raise potentially controversial issues in a manner that encourages dialogue;
  • flexible, responsive and willing to consider others’ opinions;
  • capable of a wide perspective on issues;
  • ability to listen and work as a team member;
  • no direct or indirect conflict of interest with the member’s responsibility to the organization;
  • strong reasoning skills;
  • able and willing to fulfill time commitment required to carry out responsibilities;
  • may include personal attributes relevant to organization; and
  • commitment to continuous learning about the organization and the relevant sector or industry.


Collectively, the Board should comprise the following core competencies:

  • operational or technical expertise relevant to the operation of the organization including:
    • strategic management and organizational change,
    • operations,
    • internal control and accounting,
    • technology,
    • communications,
    • public sector administration,
    • human resources,
    • labour relations, and
    • risk management.
  • financial expertise;
  • legal expertise;
  • knowledge of government and the public sector environment;
  • knowledge of current and emerging issues affecting the organization and its industry or sector; and
  • knowledge of the community served by the organization.

List of Current Governors and Senior Executives


First Appointed

Term Expiry

His Worship Frederick Haynes (Chair)


At Pleasure

Ms. Linda Murray



Mr. Timothy Kane



Mr. Glen Crawford



Ms. Mary Collins



Mr. Gerald Irwin Henderson




Process for Submitting Expressions of Interest

You may submit an Expression of Interest in serving on this board by clicking on the “Apply Online Now” button at the bottom of this page. For more information on the board, refer to the Directory of Agencies website.

British Columbia Appointment Guidelines

Appointments to British Columbia’s public sector organizations are governed by written appointment guidelines.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) – The personal information on this form is collected for the purpose of administering a variety of statutes that authorize the appointment of individuals to public sector organizations under the authority of section 26(c) of the FOIPPA. Questions about the collection or use of this information can be directed to the Crown Agencies and Board Resourcing Office by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone at 604 660-0465.



On October 1, 2019, at 1400 hours, a concerned resident called Saanich Police to report there was an extremely intoxicated male yelling at people at Gyro Park.
The first police officer on scene began to communicate with the male; however he became confrontational and unexpectedly punched the officer. The officer was required to call for further officers to assist. During that time, the officer was assaulted again by the male (kicked) and threatened.
Various officers arrived (including the Oak Bay Police) and took the male into custody. The Saanich officer was injured during the incident and will miss subsequent shifts as per the doctor’s orders.
“This call is a reminder of the unpredictability our officers face in policing. We will ensure our member receives the appropriate resources for his recovery,” stated D/Sgt. Kowalewich.
A 35 year old Saanich man was held in custody to appear before a Judge. He has been charged with Assaulting a Peace Officer and Uttering Threats and is scheduled to appear in court today.
D/Sgt. Damian Kowalewich

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