Winnipeg police look for major cost-saving cuts
The Winnipeg Police Service is examining the entire organization in preparation for possible budget reductions.
The City of Winnipeg will release its operating budget on Feb. 28 and it is expected to outline a number of budget reductions.
That budget covers the expense of running city services — everything from the police service to garbage pickup and recreation facilities — and all the related salaries.
The police service has been told to find significant savings. Union head Mike Sutherland worries programs such as the horse patrol could be axed.
"There's difficult choices and I think it's sort of a shame that we have to sacrifice specifically the things we value as a priority and as community-building relationships," he said.
Last year the police bicycle patrol was cut in a cost-saving measure.
"The axe will fall regardless. The service has to trim $2 to $3 million from its budget and I'm not sure where they're going to find that amount of money to trim off," Sutherland said.
In a written statement, the police service said the current review is preliminary and no firm decisions have been made.
The operating budget totalled $817.6 million in 2010 and $847.4 million in 2011.