Police budget being debated at city hall
Members of city council are shown during a break in a meeting in this file photo. (CP24)
Published Wednesday, December 12, 2012 2:20PM EST
A revised police budget that meets a city-wide directive for zero per cent departmental increases is among the items being considered today as the city’s budget committee meets.
The $927.8 million budget was unanimously approved by the Toronto Police Services board Monday night despite an earlier plea from Police Chief Bill Blair to increase funds.
In a memo sent to board members last month, Blair had requested a $19 million budgetary increase, suggesting that “significant staffing reductions” would be necessary in the event of a freeze.
The police board, however, said that the freeze could be met by instituting a hiring freeze and finding other savings during their meeting Tuesday night.
“The police, fire and other emergency services are a sensitive area, there is no question about it, but it is an area that we have too look at and we have to address,” Budget Chief Mike Del Grande told committee members reviewing the police budget Wednesday. “Sacrifices are made by everybody. Councillors made a sacrifice in 2011 not to take their cost of living increase. The same was asked of those groups that get their increases automatically.”
Following the Toronto Police Services approval of the 2013 budget Monday night, Blair told reporters that the freeze would cost the city 326 officers by way of attrition.
Speaking with CP24 Wednesday morning, police board member Coun. Michael Thompson criticized Blair for not trying hard enough to find other efficiencies.
“We as a board asked the chief almost a year ago to look at an organizational review and in fact the board had asked the chief to come back with that report in October,” he said. “We are still waiting for it to be done.”
City council is expected to vote on the 2013 operating and capital budgets in early January.
Changes can be made to either budget up until that point.
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