Here are some of the major police incidents from 2011 that kept officers and staff busy. For more stories, visit the media release archive on our website.
ARRESTS MADE IN BOTH OF CITY'S HOMICIDES
Arrests were made in both of Victoria's homicides in 2011. Jason Van Winkle was arrested for the death of 41-year-old Gilles Thibodeau on March 16th at 2828 Rock Bay Ave. The second homicide occurred in the early morning hours on November 26th when 20-year-old Tyler Noble was killed at the Douglas and View Streets intersection. Brandon Huth was arrested the next day and was charged with manslaughter. VicPD and VIIMCU Detectives have made arrests in 11 of the city's past 12 homicides.
OFFICER STABBED IN UNPROVOKED KNIFE ATTACK
On January 17th, Cst. Lane Douglas-Hunt was taken to hospital with serious injuries to her hand following an unprovoked knife attack. A 57-year-old man, Guy Herve Seguin, was arrested for the vicious attack, which occurred in the 800-block of Douglas Street just after 9 a.m. Seguin was recently convicted of attempted murder. Douglas-Hunt endured an extensive period of rehabilitation, but her commitment put her ahead of schedule in returning to work. Video from news conference
LARGE VARIETY OF WEAPONS REMOVED FROM CITY STREETS
A total of 70 weapons, including knives, brass knuckles and pellet guns, were taken off city streets during a special four-month weapons tracking project undertaken by VicPD's Focused Enforcement Team. From January to April, FET tracked the number of weapons seized after noticing a spike in weapons-related incidents. A total of 27 charges were forwarded in relation to these seizures.
POLICING IN ESQUIMALT
In May, the VicPD executive team presented their case to continue policing Esquimalt in response to the Township's solicitation for "requests for proposals" for policing services. VicPD began policing Esquimalt since amalgamation in 2003 and we maintain that we are the best-equipped agency to police the Township. The VicPD presentation represented the best efforts to address the concerns expressed by the Township, however their Police Advisory Committee announced they selected the RCMP. At the end of the year, the future of policing Esquimalt was unresolved and the decision rests in the hands of the province's Police Services Division.
TWENTY-TWO DRUG DEALERS ARRESTED AS RESULT OF VICPD UNDERCOVER PROJECT
Twenty-two drug dealers were arrested in May as the result of a VicPD undercover project focused on suppressing the open air drug market in the city's downtown. Dubbed "Project Cinco de Mayo", VicPD's Focused Enforcement Team partnered with undercover operators from Strike Force, Saanich Police and the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service to buy cocaine, heroin and marijuana. Read news release
CANADA DAY WAS ONE OF VICPD'S BUSIEST NIGHTS EVER
VicPD received 264 calls for service during the Canada Day evening, making it one of the busiest holidays celebrations for the department in recent history. In fact, VicPD fielded more calls than all of the Island's regional agencies combined, which includes the six agencies that police the Capital Region and Nanaimo and Courtney. Police estimate that nearly 35,000 people came to the Inner Harbour for Canada Day celebrations, yet there were no major disturbances to report. Video from Chief thanking officers and staff.
DETECTIVES MAKE ARREST IN 2008 HOMICIDE
In July, VicPD detectives travelled to Toronto to arrest 25-year-old man Ryan Demorest for the 2008 homicide of 35-year-old Nicholas Fantasia. The arrest concluded an extensive investigation by the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crimes Unit since Fantasia's body was pulled from the water of the Inner Harbour on November 5, 2008. Read the news release
COMMUNICATIONS CENTRE HELPS MAKE ARREST IN CITY HALL BOMB THREAT
Quick thinking by the VicPD Communications Centre led to the arrest of a 53-year-old man in Maple Ridge, who phoned in a bomb threat to Victoria City Hall in September. After the threat was made, the Comm. Centre traced the phone number to a Maple Ridge gas station. The Comm. Centre then liaised with both the gas station and Ridge Meadows RCMP to arrest the man. City Hall was evacuated and searched, and the call was confirmed a hoax. Read the news release
VicPD and OCCUPY VICTORIA
After several weeks of protest in Centennial Square, VicPD acted upon a court-issued enforcement order and removed the remaining Occupy Victoria protesters. The Occupy Victoria movement was a significant drain on police resources since the protest commenced on October 15th, and was estimated to have cost police over $100,000 in overtime wages.
VicPD ASSISTS TORONTO POLICE WITH ARREST IN 1993 ABDUCTION CASE
In Early December VicPD assisted Toronto Police Service by making an arrest in connection to the 1993 abduction of Sigourney Teresa Chisholm. VicPD arrested Patricia Joan O'Byrne, the missing child's mother, who has eluded investigators for the past 18 years. O'Byrne was in a custody dispute with the father and abducted Chisholm on May 15, 1993. Chisholm was two years old at the time. Video from VicPD Media Conference