Hamilton police hosting budget townhall

Police are seeking public input before presenting their budget request at the end of the month.
Chief Glenn De Caire from Hamilton Police Service explains the new proposed budget, which is an increase of 4.75 per cent over last year. The police services board has asked De Caire to find more savings. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

The Hamilton Police Service has announced it is holding three community town halls next week to get public feedback on its 2013 budget request of a 4.75 per cent increase.

The budget was originally tabled at a 5.25 per cent increase — including $6.57 million towards salaries and benefits — a boost that many in Hamilton felt was too high.

"I've been a strong supporter of public safety and by extension the Hamilton Police Service budgets in the past," said Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla in November. "Having said that, it is disconcerting that the requested increases annually are not consistent with the remainder of our city departments."

After more consideration, police decreased the budget request in December, but members of the Police Services Board said they still wanted Police Chief Glenn De Caire to find more savings in the $142-million budget.

The town halls will seek public input before De Caire is scheduled to present the budget request to Hamilton City Council on January 24.

When and Where: Police budget town halls

Thursday, January 10: Mohawk College, corner of West 5th and Fennell Ave. Room F118.

Monday, January 14: Bennetto Community Centre 450 Hughson St.N.

Tuesday, January 15: Stoney Creek Municipal Offices, Council Chambers 77 Highway 8.

All sessions are 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. No registration required.