Cost of police in Oakville, Burlington, Milton going up nearly 10 per cent next year

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Published December 14, 2023 at 1:49 pm

Halton Police Headquarters

Police in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills have received a near 10 per cent increase in funding from Halton Region.

The 2024 tax-supported operating budget for Halton Regional Police Service is $203.8 million, which reflects an increase of $17.7 million, or 9.5 per cent, over the 2023 budget, with a tax impact of 7.7 per cent after assessment growth.

The 9.5 per cent increase, which is greater than the 5.7 per cent guideline provided by Regional Council, is driven by resourcing requirements to address the policing needs of the growing Region and support capital funding costs related to the facilities and technology programs, according to Cyndy Winslow, Commissioner, Finance and Regional Treasurer.

The 2024 tax supported capital budget for Police Services is $12.8 million, which reflects an increase of $4.5 million, or 54 per cent, over the 2024 Forecast included in the 2023 budget.

The primary driver of this increase is related to the Facilities program ($2.5 million) as compared to the 2023 budget.

The most significant driver of the increase in operating expenditures is a $12.1 million, or 7.4 per cent increase, in Personnel Services over the 2023 Budget.

This includes:

$4.4 million increase for contract-related compensation costs and $2.0 million increase for benefit and other costs

$5.7 million in additional costs related to new positions, comprised of 49 uniform and 24 civilian positions required to meet the policing needs of the growing Region

Capital financing expenditures are increasing by $2.6 million, or 28.3 per cent, mainly due to increased construction costs related to the new 1 District facility in Halton Hills and future replacement of portable radios for officers.

Personnel Services continue to be the main driver of the forecast, comprising 86 per cent of the total operating budget and increasing at an average rate of $12.0 million or 6.2 per cent annually over the next four years.

This reflects contract wage settlements and projected annual hiring of uniformed and civilian staff in response to growth in Halton Region.

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