Statement from Deputy Chief Harj Sidhu Re: Hiring of External Communications Firm
Re: Hiring of External Communications Firm
The Delta Police Department (DPD) recently received a Freedom of Information (FOI) Request from media for its contract with a communications consulting firm, hired to assist the DPD in managing communications about investigations pertaining to Lorraine Dubord. In compliance with restrictions set out in the FOI Act, the DPD did not release the contract, as it involved a third party – the consulting firm.
In the interests of transparency however, I can disclose that the full value of the contract was approximately $42,000 - including funds paid after the FOI request was received.
Like other police departments and municipalities, the DPD regularly hires external subject matter experts in a variety of areas – cybersecurity, strategic planning, web design, legal services and more. For example, the DPD paid $61,000 to a consultant to help create a strategic plan.
The DPD works hard to be fiscally responsible and is continuously looking for efficiencies and costs savings while maintaining safe communities. In 2020 the DPD had a budget surplus of approximately $975,000 which will be returned to the City and ultimately the taxpayers of Delta.
Anyone interested in learning more about the DPD’s budget can find a detailed accounting of our expenditures, which is included in every Police Board agenda package, available on the DPD website https://deltapolice.ca/delta-police-board/agendas/
The cost of the consulting firm, as indicated above, was managed within the DPD’s 2020 budget. No additional funds were sought from the City. The contract with the firm was set up by former Deputy Chief Norm Lipinski, and he consulted directly with the firm. The terms of the contract were to assist the DPD with communications regarding a complex and unusual set of circumstances.
The DPD and its officers and staff continue to be fully cooperative and transparent with the ongoing external Vancouver Police Department (VPD) investigation into related matters concerning Lorraine Dubord. As previously reported, this investigation has civilian oversight through the Office of the Police Complaints Commission (OPCC).
Given the ongoing VPD investigation the DPD will not be doing any media interviews regarding this statement.