Saskatoon

Saskatoon's police chief disappointed with changes to photo radar revenue distribution

Saskatoon’s chief of police and the city’s Board of Police Commissioners are disappointed with changes to the way money raised through photo radar is distributed.

Last year, Saskatoon received about $2.9M from photo radar tickets

Saskatoon police Chief Troy Cooper says the changes could mean less money for traffic safety measures. (Don Somers/CBC)

Saskatoon's chief of police and the city's Board of Police Commissioners are unhappy with changes to the way money raised through photo radar tickets is distributed.

"It's obviously disappointing," said police Chief Troy Cooper.

They did use that money for really good traffic enforcement initiatives.- Police Chief Troy Cooper

Earlier this year, the Board of Police Commissioners wrote to the premier outlining its concerns with the way money raised through photo radar would be shared.

Previously, money from tickets in Saskatoon flowed back to the city, and then to police.

Saskatoon will still receive a direct portion of photo enforcement money, but 50 per cent of that revenue will now go into a new provincial traffic safety fund available to all communities.

"The board was concerned that because there was reduced revenue sharing with the city, that there might be reduced opportunities to share with the police for enforcement initiatives," Cooper said at a board meeting this week.

"They did use it for really good traffic enforcement initiatives."

Last year, Saskatoon received about $2.9 million from photo radar tickets.

'Zero revenue' would mean success: premier 

A letter presented to the board this week from Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe suggested that "money from the PSE [photo speed enforcement] program is not a budgeted line item."

Moe added that "we consider the program a success if there were zero tickets and zero revenue."

Money from photo radar used to flow directly to the city, but now a share of the revenues will go to a provincial fund. (CBC)

Cooper remains optimistic that police will be able to tap into other sources of revenue to bring new traffic safety initiatives to Saskatoon. One of those sources, he said, is Saskatchewan Government Insurance.

"From time to time we are able to negotiate traffic initiatives through SGI and through funding from SGI where we can show that there's going to be some traffic or safety improvements.

"And so that's a relationship that's sort of evolving and ongoing," Cooper said.

"We're yet to see exactly what it's going to mean for us in 2019."

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