The role of the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board is to provide civilian oversight to the activities of the Victoria Police Department, on behalf of the residents of Esquimalt and Victoria. The Police Act gives the Board the authority to:
- Establish an independent police department and appoint the chief constable and other constables and employees;
- Direct and oversee the Department to ensure the enforcement of municipal bylaws, criminal laws and the laws of British Columbia, the maintenance of law and order; and the prevention of crime;
- Carry out other requirements as specified in the Act and other relevant legislation; and
- Play a key role in ensuring that the organization carries out its actions and activities in an acceptable manner.
The Board operates under the oversight of the Police Services Division of the BC Ministry of Justice which is responsible for Police Boards and policing in BC. The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board (Board) is responsible for providing police and law enforcement services for the municipalities of Esquimalt and Victoria.
- Mayor Barbara Desjardins, Lead Co-Chair
Barbara Desjardins ran for Mayor in 2008 and was acclaimed again in 2011 and 2014. Prior to this appointment, she served as an Esquimalt councillor from 2005 to 2008.
In her current role, Mayor Desjardins serves as Co Chair of the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board. She currently sits on the Capital Regional District Board and has been in the position of Chair of several committees of the CRD. She serves on the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, and is Vice Chair of the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Board. Mayor Desjardins also serves on the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) as Esquimalt Director, Vice Chair, Interim Chair, and is currently starting the position of Secretary and Chair of GVHA Governance Committee.
Since 1990, Barb has owned and operated 3 physiotherapy clinics. She has been very active within her professional association throughout her 30 year career as a physiotherapist.
In her career as a public servant Barb is guided by a couple of rules: 1) pay personal attention to issues and 2) be a visible and active participant in your community.
Mayor Desjardins holds her Bachelor of Science with specialized training in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto. The mother of two grown children, Barb is a strong advocate for active and healthy living. She continues to be recognized for advocacy of issues -- both large and small -- within the community
- Mayor Lisa Helps, Deputy Co-Chair
Lisa Helps became the 52nd Mayor of Victoria when she was elected on November 15, 2014, and was sworn into office on December 4, 2014. Prior to being elected as Mayor, Lisa served as a Victoria City Councillor for one term, from 2011 to 2014. Lisa is known for having a huge heart, a wealth of experience, and a history of getting things done. Lisa has worked with people to create things (housing, organizations, businesses, newspapers, gardens) which enable people to thrive. She has collaborated with politicians, contractors, neighbours, people on the street, community associations and more to bring about positive change in the community. Mayor Helps is known for being generous, patient, firm, and focused. Lisa learns best by doing, and in conversation with people. She is thrilled to be at the Victoria City Council table and will bring her heart, experience and big-picture, long-term thinking (as a trained historian) to bear on all decisions.
- Brian R.D. Smith, QC
Brian Smith is a part-time lawyer and policy advisor with the national Gowlings LLP firm. He previously served as a chief treaty negotiator for the federal government and also served on commercial energy and mining boards. Previous experience in government includes 10 years on Oak Bay Council and six years as the Mayor. He was elected three times as MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon Head and held cabinet portfolios of education, energy and mines, and attorney general. He served five years as executive chair of Canadian National Railways, followed by five years as executive chair of BC Hydro. Brian’s community service includes serving on the board of Ballet BC and as chair of the board of Tennis Canada.
- Patti Stockton, Council Nominee (Victoria)
Patti Stockton retired from the Public Service of British Columbia after more than 20 years in various senior positions, including Assistant Deputy Minister of Public Safety & Regulatory Programs with the Ministry of Attorney General. Since retirement, Patti has been active in the community, as a board member with the Victoria READ Society and the Together Against Poverty Society. She was also a docent at the Royal BC Museum, a security volunteer for the Tall Ships Society, and an ambassador for the Victoria Downtown Ambassadors. Currently she is 1st Vice President of the Trafalgar/ProPatria Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
- Sean Powell
Sean Powell is currently the Principal at Ecole Lansdowne Middle School. He has been a teacher/administrator for 21 years, teaching in positions from Kindergarten to adult education in the communities of Saanich, Esquimalt and Victoria. He also owns a local company, Powell Investments Ltd., a building and development company, and previously had a supporting role in Via Solar Inc., which focused on installing alternative energy sources for residential homes. Active in his community, Mr. Powell has been a School Representative for the United Way and Cops for Cancer. He also coaches lacrosse and hockey in Victoria. Mr. Powell holds his Bachelor of Education and Masters in Leadership from the University of Victoria.
- Keven Elder
Keven Elder grew up in the Cowichan Valley, lived his adult years in the Greater Victoria area, and has been living in Esquimalt for four years. Dr Elder retired from School District 63 Saanich in 2017 after 12 years as Superintendent and CEO, having previously been a teacher and a principal as well as a sessional lecturer and associate professor at UVic . After retiring in 2017 he established a consulting firm focusing on provision of governance and mediation services before returning to education as Superintendent of School District 69 Qualicum for a two year commitment through to July 2020. His academic qualifications in Education to the doctoral level have been enhanced by the addition of certification in conflict resolution, mediation and negotiation from JIBC. Dr Elder's board experience includes serving as Director and President of the BC School Superintendents Association (2006-2011).
- Evan Southern, Council Nominee (Esquimalt)
Evan Southern is the Director of Communications and Engagement for the Capital Regional District (CRD) Wastewater Treatment Project. Prior to this position, Mr. Southern worked for over seven years in the BC Provincial Government. His time in government included senior roles in the offices of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Mr. Southern holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Victoria.
- Sean Dhillon
Sean is a Manager Mortgage Specialist at TD Bank. He has been an active volunteer in the Victoria community since he was 7 years old and has Board experience with the Men's Trauma Centre, Threshold Housing Society, Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, and the Social Media Club Victoria.
- Charla Huber
Charla is the Director of Communications and Indigenous Relations for M'akola Housing Society. She is Indigenous with Chipewyan and Inuit ancestry and is established in the field of Indigenous Relations. She has connected with more than 100 Indigenous communities throughout Western Canada and has a passion for building relationships with Indigenous communities, as well as facilitating relationships with municipalities, businesses and organizations. Charla is currently pursuing a Masters’ Degree in Professional Communications from Royal Roads University and has been on several boards spanning from family services, emergency preparedness and Indigenous education.