Sudbury City Hall

No surprises in 2018 police budget, says Sudbury police chief

Sudbury's police chief has tabled the 2018 budget for the service, a financial plan he's calling "status quo."

Bottom line holding steady, no new hires planned as officers police in the complicated digital age

Greater Sudbury Police chief Paul Pedersen says 2018's police budget will be "status quo" with no big changes or surprises. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)
Greater Sudbury Police Chief Paul Pedersen gave city council its first look at the 2018 police services budget. He also took some time to show councillors what he thinks are the city's biggest crime trends. Here's some of his presentation to council. 4:51

Sudbury's police chief has tabled the 2018 budget for the service, a financial plan he's calling "status quo." 

Chief Paul Pedersen presented his budget to Sudbury city council last night. He said the goal isto do as much as possible while respecting the public purse.

Police expenditures account for around 22 per cent of the city's net budget, a benchmark that has remained relatively steady under Pedersen's tenure as chief. 

One of the challenges, Pedersen said, is trying to adapt while dealing with the changing face of crime. Cyber crimes alone require a team of dedicated officers with specialized equipment, he said, and it's a trend that's not going away anytime soon.

"In this year alone, in this country, almost 10 million dollars has been lost to identity theft," Pedersen said. "That's just what's reported."

"And the old forms of child pornography was a binder or a handful of offensive pictures in someone 's possession," he said. "Now it's terabytes of information that are stored in clouds."

"The question we're always asking ourselves is what can we do to make sure we're being as efficient as possible?"

Police Services Board chair Michael Vagnini says the 2018 budget is "lean and mean" under Chief Pedersen's leadership. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Councillor Mike Vagnini, who is also the chair of the Police Services Board, said he was actually hoping for a little more help on the front lines.

"When Chief Pedersen talks about this is a lean, mean budget he's not fooling around," Vagnini said. "I was actually disappointed that we wouldn't' be bringing in any more sworn officers, tr what we call our CSPs, community safety personnel."

"I was hoping we would have a couple of those, but they wanted to stay fiscally responsible."

The budget also allows for money to be set aside for future renovations of the Brady Street headquarters, or the construction of a new building.

Council will vote on the police budget at an upcoming meeting.