The Waterloo Regional Police Service was $1.8 million over budget in the past year, largely due to higher than anticipated labour and overtime costs.

The police service spent $3.4 million more than it budgeted for in 2012's $134 million budget, according to a budget report that will be discussed by the Waterloo Region Police Services Board on Wednesday. The excess expenditure was offset by $1.6 million in higher than expected revenues.

The following is a breakdown of the overspending:

  • $1.7 million in higher than expected labour costs came from wages and benefits. This "anticipated" overspending was due mainly to an arbitration ruling last year that granted police a 2.7 per cent raise, the report said. During the budget process that preceded the arbitration ruling, the force had only accounted for a 2.0 per cent raise.
  • $1.2 million in higher than expected overtime and court costs accounted for overspending.
  • $285,000 for sick leave payments that had to be paid out to retiring officers.

The remainder of the overages came from a number of items like fees, services, and one-time costs.

The net $1.8 million shortage will have to be paid out from the force's reserve fund.

News of the overexpenditures comes after a year in which the police services board ordered a reduction of the force by eight officer through attrition partly in order to keep costs down.