Toronto police budget approved
The Toronto Police Services Board has approved a new police budget for 2012 that will achieve a 4.6 per cent budget reduction, but not the 10 per cent cut demanded by Mayor Rob Ford.
The force will make further cuts in 2013 of 5.4 per cent — adding up to the 10 per cent cut Ford demanded of all departments.
To achieve those cuts the board has recommended the hiring of an outside consultant to help the department find ways of reducing costs.
Under the terms of the 2012 deal, Police Chief Bill Blair will reduce his operating budget for next year, but won't be forced to layoff any officers.
It means that with the 4.6 per cent cut the Toronto police budget for 2012 will come in at about $889-million.
But when the new police contract is figured in the budget actually comes in at $936-million, $6-million higher than 2011.
The chief defended the budget saying "my job is public safety ... we know what it costs to provide policing services."
Blair achieved the reduction by cancelling new hiring, planning for the attrition of 200 staff, cuts of about 10 per cent in management positions, along with outsourcing of some cleaning services among other measures.
The chief has pointed out on previous occasions that his options for making cuts are limited since almost 90 per cent of the budget is made up of fixed labour costs.
At the moment, it appears unlikely the 5.4 per cent reduction in 2013 can be achieved without layoffs.