Kingston Police Services Board Members See 2022 Budget Trouble – Kingston | The Canadian News

Members of the Kingston Police Services Board received a high-level briefing Thursday on some of the challenges and opportunities facing the police department as it prepares a budget for next year.

More than 80 percent of the police budget was reduced to salaries and benefits for sworn officers and civilians in the Kingston police budget last year.

Chief Antje McNeely told the police services board that one of the ways they are managing those costs is through retirements and new hires.

Some of the new hires are fourth-class police officers who replace retiring senior officers.

“We combine a mix of fourth class officers and seasoned officers, but by hiring a fourth it helps in some cost savings when you have a senior officer who is retiring with the highest pay level,” McNeely told the board during the meeting. noon meeting.

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McNeely says the police force has reduced fuel and electricity consumption, but McNeely says they are anticipating higher fuel costs for next year.

McNeely also told the board that they are working on a number of strategies with partner agencies, such as mental health services and city statutes, to reduce the number of calls for service police have to respond to when safety is not a concern. trouble.

“The statutes are responding to a lot of the calls for service in terms of noise complaints, in terms of loud parties, camping, homeless, poverty issues,” McNeely said.

Kingston police had forecast a 2.6 percent budget increase for 2022, but the chief says it may be hit by some costs outside of the force’s control.

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McNeely highlighted some of those issues, such as a change to the contract agreement with the province’s Special Investigations Unit that adds $ 50,000 in expenses, along with increased city insurance rates and police construction fees. from Kingston adding another $ 75,000 to the bottom line.

“We assumed the status quo in 2021 for the court security prisoner transportation grant when, in fact, our grant was reduced by $ 74,000,” McNeely said.

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The Kingston Police Services Board will get a more detailed look at some of the concrete numbers in the budget proposal when the board meets again in October.

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