Belleville’s police board has set its 2017 budget, with an increase of 4.2%, compared to 2016.
The budget will total just over $17.2 million, with about 90% of the spending accounting for salaries and around $576,000 in capital expenditures.
Chief Ron Gignac tells Quinte News, of the many factors leading to the increase, the American dollar has a big impact, even though they make purchases through Canadian suppliers.
Other factors include rising fees for training at the Ontario Police College, along with increasing fuel and hydro costs.
Among the major capital purchases this year is a new forensics van, to replace the current one, which is in its 14th year of service and four years past its recommended service life.
Chief Gignac says the old van is practically in a state of disrepair and isn’t able to keep up with the changes in today’s forensic technology.
Other big expenses for the coming year include three new squad cars, to replace aging ones, a new emergency response vehicle and equipment for the Emergency Response Team, as well as some new training and IT equipment.
You can see the full proposed capital spending breakdown below.
At least one Belleville councillor who questioned the increase in the city’s police budget is satisfied with the numbers now.
Councillor Jack Miller wanted Chief Ron Gignac to be more clear about where $576,000 in capital spending would be going exactly and was given that information at a police budget meeting on Tuesday night.
And despite just getting through the presentation of the 2017 police budget, Chief Gignac is already looking ahead to spending needs in 2018, listing out some future spending plans.
He tells Quinte News, it’s important to have foresight when looking ahead.
Other plans for spending in 2018, the possibility of adding red light cameras at some city intersections, equipping more cruisers with radars and license plate readers and new gear to re-outfit the police force’s K-9 Unit, which is currently out of service.
Here’s a list of the proposed capital projects for 2017, not covered by the new build reserve fund:
- 3 new police vehicles (2 x Chevy Tahoes and 1 x Dodge Charger) – $145,578
- Traffic Unit Equipment (Automated license plate readers, speed radars, etc.) – $125,000
- Replacement forensics van – $113,000
- Replacement emergency response vehicle and equipment – $63,000
- Various training equipment (Including tasers and holsters, gun replacements and upgrades, etc.) – $25,000
- IT hardware – $93,500
- Various street crime equipment – $11,200