Police overspent by $7.4M so far this year

Swelling overtime and workplace safety claims have pushed the Ottawa police over budget by $7.4 million, according to the latest financial update.

Extra overstime and workplace safety claims push police into deficit this year

The Ottawa Police Service projects it will post a $1.5 million deficit by the end of 2017. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

Swelling overtime and workplace safety claims have pushed the Ottawa police over budget by $7.4 million, according to the latest financial update.

The police service has found a way to cover $5.9 million of the spending, leaving a $1.5 million deficit by the end of the year.

In a report to the police services board, Chief Charles Bordeleau said there are several factors putting pressure on the budget, including overspending on overtime by $3.1 million and an extra $1.1 million spent on Workplace Safety and Insurance Board claims.  

Police also expect to come in $1 million short on revenue from collision reporting centre, which sells its reports to insurance companies.

The report also reveals the service is $900,000 short on its efficiency target for 2017.

As part of his plan to cover the overspending, Bordeleau will ask the police services board to approve the transfer of $2.4 million of money intended to replace and maintain police vehicles to cover some the costs. 

The transfer would cause delays in replacing vehicles which could cause more costly repairs down the line, according to the report.

The service has also instituted a partial spending freeze and plans to put off hiring some civilian positions.

It's not clear how the police board would deal with the remaining $1.5-million deficit. 

The chief hopes to address some of the issues that have plagued this year's budget in 2018, but he said he will have to dip into reserve payments to do it.

At last week's police services' financial committee Bordeleau admitted the plan is "not financially sound," but said "this is the only option we feel we have to stay within two per cent."

The police services board will discuss the projected deficit on Monday.