Kitchener-Waterloo

Waterloo Regional Police Service seeks 5-6% budget increase for 2019

The Waterloo Regional Police Service will present an updated proposal for its 2019 budget at a board meeting on Wednesday.

Police service looking to add 47 new officers as part of budget request

The Waterloo Regional Police Service will present an updated proposal for its 2019 budget at a board meeting on Wednesday.

An initial draft of the budget presented in November asked for $171.5 million, a 6.4 per cent increase from the previous year.

The police services board asked WRPS staff to go back to the drawing board and find ways to trim down the proposal. The department is now proposing two, slightly slimmer, options:

  • $169.53 million — a 5.17 per cent increase from 2018
  • $170.58 million — a 5.83 per cent increase from 2018

In a report to the police services board, WRPS staff recommend the board consider the middle option of $170.58 million.

WRSP looking to hire 47 new officers

Whichever option the board approves, the department will see its largest budget increase since 2013.

In November, chief Bryan Larkin said the department needed more resources to keep up with the changing nature of crime and policing.

Larkin also said the department has been dealing with staffing shortages due to occupational injuries and parental leave.

The service is looking to add 47 full-time positions in its 2019 budget. The last time the service added new officers was in 2013, according to the staff report.

While new officers have been sworn in over the last six years, the police service hasn't increased the overall number of positions.

The last time Waterloo Regional Police saw a large budget increase was in 2013. That year, the service's budget jumped 7.31 per cent. (Waterloo Regional Police Service)

"The addition of staffing in the 2019 budget is critical to address the current workload of the service," the report reads.

The report says a presentation outlining trends in staffing shortages will be delivered at Wednesday's meeting.

The police budget is paid by the Region of Waterloo. The police services board is expected to green-light the 2019 budget in January, before it goes to regional council for final approval.

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