Waterloo Regional Police

Waterloo Regional Police are searching for an old model SUV in connection with a hit and run in Waterloo. (Brian St. Denis/CBC)

Waterloo Regional Police's decision to move 33 officers to general patrol this month will cost the force's traffic, surveillance, homicide and fraud units.

 Police Chief Matt Torigian says the main reason to take officers away from specialized units is to meet operational demands.

“We determined that the number of patrol officers that we require would be 107 in each one of our three patrol divisions, or 321 in total,” said Torigian.

Due to budget constraints, Waterloo Regional Police is unable to hire more officers to do the work.

The move, first revealed Wednesday, will also end an elementary school program for three officers and special projects like the Oktoberfest mobile patrol unit.   

Torigian says the challenge for specialized units will be to keep up the same level of service with less staff and resources.

"It's not ideal, it's not something you want,” said Torigian. “At the same time, we have to remember that the work that was being done by the officers that are being moved is extremely important."

The staffing changes will take effect on Oct. 20.