Waterloo Regional Police presents first look at 2023 operating budget
Waterloo Regional Police have released the first draft of what the service’s 2023 operating budget could look like.
“Today is just information about where we are and some of the scenarios we are considering,” Acting Police Chief John Goodman said.
According to a report presented to the council, the estimated 2023 base operating budget for the police sits at $209.8 million, an increase of $14 million from the 2022 budget, but that figure could change.
The police presented four different budget scenarios to the board:
- Add eight more officers and an additional $15.8 million to the budget.
- Adding 11 additional officers would add an additional $16 million to the budget.
- Adding 55 agents would mean budgeting an additional $26 million.
- Do not add any more officers, leaving the base budget at $209.8 million.
Several factors contribute to the increase in the budget
Kirsten Hand, director of the service’s finance and assets branch, said a number of factors are contributing to an increase in the base operating budget from 2022, such as the annualization of 35 new officers, the increase in employee benefit costs and contract cost increases.
She added that there was also the removal of one-time funding from the 2022 budget, including the $1.6 million from the 2021 budget surplus and $500,000 from the benefit stabilization reserve.
She mentioned that there were repercussions on inflation, such as the increase in gas prices.
Font to explore more options
At Wednesday’s meeting, several council members asked the police to also incorporate additional information and storyline options into the report.
“I would like to see something more holistic, derived from service that reflects what is needed to continue providing the services to address the challenges that we face, that our communities need,” said Tony Giovinazzo, board member administration.
« It’s a good draft to pass, but I would like to see [in the] the next round maybe a few more options built around what the service thinks it needs. »
Goodman said staff will work to provide that information at the next meeting.
« That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to go back and take a look. We arrived very responsibly today with our first blush. The next one may look a little different. »
Further review of the budget with the police services board is scheduled for Dec. 14, with final board approval scheduled for Jan. 18, according to the report.
As to when the police will present their budget to the region, it has not yet been scheduled, but the regional approval is scheduled for February 8.