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Regional Councillor calls for more time to discuss police budget

Proposed budget would cost $214 million
Colleen James
Colleen James

After Regional Police Chief Mark Crowell presented the Waterloo Regional Police budget for 2023, Regional Councillor Colleen James asked for clarification on several aspects of the budget.

The Police Chief was able to answer most questions, but was not able to elaborate on community partnerships and promised to follow up, which James said proves that if these discussions had happened earlier, her questions could have been answered.

She called for more transparency when it comes to the Regional police budget.

"Historically, many years ago, the former Police Chiefs would come to council prior to finalizing the budget to give a holistic perspective of what they've been dealing with throughout the year." James remarked.

The Regional Councillor confirmed that she plans to put a motion forward at next week's council meeting asking the Regional Police to speak to their draft budget before it becomes finalized.

James told CityNews 570 that there were quite a few questions she wasn't able to ask at Wednesday's council meeting, including how much of the budget is allocated to officers who are on paid leave and not currently working.

"Essentially, the police budget has been finalized," James explained. "If we wanted to send their approved budget back, it would need to go through a whole process."

James added that there are public input sessions planned for next week, with final approval of the budget scheduled for February 22nd.



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