Halton Police budget calls for $6.8 million increase and the hiring of more officers

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Published October 29, 2020 at 12:01 pm

The proposed budget for Halton Regional Police calls for an increase of $6.8 million for next year, which includes the hiring of 14 new constables.

Police Chief Stephen Tanner presented the budget to the Halton Region Police Board this morning (Oct. 29) and was adopted. The request will now go before Halton Regional Council for approval. The increase is $4.2 per cent over the current year.

In presenting the budget, Tanner pointed out the increase falls within the guidelines set out by the Region.

“We are continuously aware of the Board’s objective to demonstrate prudent use of taxpayer dollars while recognizing the need to provide adequate and effective police services for Halton Region,” the chief says in the budget report. “The challenge for the Board and management remains in balancing the need to service an ever-growing community and to respond to changes in service delivery and emerging trends, while maintaining a fiscally responsible request for resources and funding. We believe that the 2021 funding request achieves this balance.”

The major points driving the increase, according to the report, are staffing needs to maintain front-line policing service levels and programs while addressing demand for policing as the population grows.  

As well, the budget reflects negotiated salary increases and benefit costs for workers.

If approved, the total budget for Halton Police will be $168,832,213 for 2021.

Board member Curt Allen said the proposal was “a healthy increase” but acknowledged that it is a reasonable budget.

“I think it’s important that we maintain our safe community status in Halton,” Allen said pointing out the cost per capita remains the lowest in the province compared to other large municipalities.

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