Halton Police Asking for $150M in 2018 Budget

Regional council is expected to approve the 2018 Halton police budget request of roughly $150 million.

It’s the lowest cost per capita of any large regional service in all of Ontario,” said Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner.

The request goes before the administration and finance committee on Dec. 7.

The Halton Police Board voted to approve the $150,070,809 request last month — it’s a $5.1 million increase versus the 2017 budget.

The 3.5 per cent budget increase stays within the guidelines set by the region, said Tanner.

There’s a focus on providing additional uniform officers to district investigative and patrol operations.

We will hire between nine and 13 new officers next year - additional officers - so it’ll help us deal with a little bit of growth that way,” said Tanner.

Among them are five patrol officers, a pair of detectives in the child abuse and sexual assault unit, one crown brief review group sergeant, and a community safety and well-being co-ordinator.

Significant drivers impacting the 2018 funding request include: the impact of contract settlement as negotiated in 2015 (1.2 per cent) and continued growth in benefit costs (0.6 per cent); staffing needs to maintain current service levels and programs while reflecting emerging trends and continued growth in demand for policing services (0.3 per cent); investment in the public safety LTE network and the associated annual operating costs (0.8 per cent); and increase in capital financing (0.2 per cent).

All other costs are covered in the remaining 0.4 per cent.

In comparison, Peel Regional Police recently received approval for a 2018 request of $401.5 million, while the Toronto Police Service 2018 budget request is $1.005 billion.

We have the lowest cost per capita, we have the lowest police officer to population ratio, but we also have the lowest crime rate so it’s reasonable that we are lower than others,” said Tanner.

It’s always nice to see that we are significantly lower than most of our comparable police services when it comes to cost to the taxpayers and quality of services provided.”

The budget request will be presented to regional council on Dec. 13.

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