Regional police ‘refine’ proposed operating budget, trim $2M from ask

By Luke Schulz

Ahead of Wednesday's meeting of the Police Services Board, and the later finalization of the budget by Regional Council, our regional police service has made its meeting agenda available – showing “refinements” to the dollar value of the proposed 2022 Operating Budget. 

Approved by the police service board on Nov. 17, regional police had been seeking the addition of 35 full-time equivalent positions, proposing a budget increase of 6.71 per cent year over year – an increase of $12.4 million dollars. According to that report, the police services board asked the service to consider a number of requests to reduce the 2022 budget increase, leading to a decrease of $2.07M. 

As a result, police will now seek a budget increase of $10.4M or roughly 5.6 per cent.

The main driver in that decrease flows from adjustments to the hire dates of the 35 full-time equivalent positions being asked for in the 2022 budget to increase “salary vacancy assumptions” of new hires – resulting in a savings of $1,169,000. In addition, police expect to transfer funds from their General reserve, funded by a projected surplus in their 2021 operating budget, which will result in a reduction of the 2022 Operating budget of $600,000. 

Lastly, the agenda notes police have increased the “projected revenues” from the Community Safety and Policing Grant by $300,000.

Changes to the hiring date for those 35 full-time staff positions is expected to have an impact on the 2023 operating budget for the service, as current forecasts in that meeting agenda show a 8.6 per cent year over year increase for 2023 – marking an increase of roughly $16.9M. 

Regional council is expected to weigh in once again on the police services operating budget on Dec. 15, as councillors will be making their final budget approval during their 2022 plan and budget meeting. Regional councillors will have the option to approve or deny the budget, though a line-by-line audit of the budget is not an option for the funding municipality.

Alternatively, the region could send the budget to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission for arbitration. 


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