The Saanich Police Department (SPD) is excited to announce that through an internal review, we identified a meaningful opportunity to modernize services to better reflect and respond to the changing needs of our community. Effective January 23, 2023, our new Community Liaison Section (CLS) is being launched, which incorporates the former Schools Section and Crime Prevention Section. The new section has increased in size by reallocating existing resources and will focus on diverse and inclusive community relationship-building, education, and crime prevention.
For many years the SPD has enjoyed excellent working relationships with our partners in the Saanich school community, due in large part to the exceptional work of our School Liaison Officers. There is no question that these relationships have benefited from our commitment to maintaining a dedicated School Liaison Section, which currently consists of five officers with the full-time responsibility of serving the 53 public and private schools and educational institutions within our jurisdiction.
In keeping with our organizational commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, our goal is to be equally responsive to the needs of other segments of our community, such as the LGBTQ2S+ community, our older adult population, and our culturally diverse communities, to name a few examples.
While our Patrol Division officers reflect this commitment in responding to calls from all members of the community, many community members do not currently have a dedicated resource within the SPD that they can call upon or partner with as we work together towards the shared goal of a safer and more inclusive community for everyone.
The expanded mandate of the new Community Liaison Section will mean that each Saanich school will no longer have an individual officer assigned as its dedicated School Liaison Officer. However, schools are one of the community groups that will now be able to call upon the CLS five days per week, fifty-two weeks per year to receive assistance from any or all of the eight officers as necessary to address specific issues, functions, or investigations.
“We believe that this progressive change responds to the growth and changing needs of Saanich and enhances our flexibility and inclusivity as we provide meaningful police service to all members of our community,” said Chief Constable Dean Duthie.
Community groups in Saanich that wish to connect with our Community Liaison Section can send their requests to [email protected].
Cst. Markus Anastasiades
Public Information & Communications Officer