OTTAWA — The first draft of Ottawa’s 2018 police budget came in with a larger increase than the mayor’s campaign promise, and officials plan to put off some expenses in order to address rising costs.
The first draft of the police budget totalled 2.7 per cent more than the 2017 budget; Mayor Jim Watson has directed the police services board to cap increases at two per cent, or $8.5 million.
“We need four more million dollars, to be blunt about it,” said Councillor Eli El-Chantiry, the chair of the police services board, who says some expenses are being delayed in order to hit the mayor’s target going into the next municipal election.
“Instead of paying more for capital or buildings or for IT, we are paying less,” El-Chantiry told 1310 NEWS. “That’s going to take us a little longer in the future to catch up.”
Much of the budget is not variable, like salaries and debt repayment. Facility and information technology projects will take a back seat as they make up part of the 11 per cent of the budget that the board can change.
The budget also plans for an extra $600,000 in efficiencies.