The Waterloo Regional Police Service Board had its first look at the proposed 2015 budget Wednesday.
Here are some of the highlights:
1. Budget increase means average household will pay $12 more
This increase will help to cover the costs of things such as equipment maintenance, upgrading the police force's computer hardware and software, and purchasing new conducted energy weapons, also known as stun guns.
Despite these expenses, the overall increase in cost for households in the region will be the smallest it has been in the last 5 years, according to Joseph Steiner, Waterloo Regional Police's director of finance.
2. 92% of budget spent on salaries and benefits
The proposed police budget for 2015 totals $107,188,772. Of that amount, 92 per cent is spent on salaries and benefits for the force and its staff. The remaining 8 per cent is used for things such as equipment upgrades, legal fees, communications and training.
3. $181,109 spent on conductive energy weapons
Over the next year, police plan to upgrade their conducted energy weapon arsenal.
Police Chief Bryan Larkin says stun guns are an important tool for frontline officers.
"I view this as the evolution of the use of force in Ontario, within the country. We've been successfully deploying conducted energy weapons with specialty units as well as supervisors and it gives us another option. It's a non-lethal option," said Larkin.
4. Projected budget could change, police contracts up for renewal
By the new year police contracts will be up for negotiations, meaning the proposed budget could change if the talks don't go as planned.
"There are half a dozen police services in Ontario, large and small, that have settled. So we're using those as benchmark percentages and trying to feel for what might be negotiated here locally." said Steiner.
"It's a starting point, whether or not that number stays as it is in the budget will be determined by the board."