OPINION: Are Saanich Police costs out of control?
Covering the escalating costs for emergency services across the region is a major challenge for municipalities in the region. The situation just got worse.
For the second time in a couple of weeks – remember the generous retirement package for the Chief of Police – the Saanich Police Board has raised eyebrows across the region. This time the Board signed with the Police Association, a three-year pay hike of 3.5-2.5-2.5 per cent retroactive to the end of 2015 expiring next year. But wait there’s more to the story.
Those increases are well above inflation which is currently 1.7 per cent in Victoria. Those increases – which compound annually – exclude the cost of benefits which are costed in the budget at an additional 23.29% of salary.
Those increases will drive up the total cost of police services as a percentage of the municipal operating budget beyond 21.7 per cent in 2016 (18.1 in 2010) to almost 25%.
This situation will require very difficult decisions in the years ahead for the Saanich Council, the Saanich Police Board, and taxpayers, both local and across the region. At some point soon agreeing to demands will not be an affordable option.
Policing costs are out of control – how long can this continue?
– John Treleaven, Vice-chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$
The Crime Severity Report, Stats Canada “Police Reported Crime” , reports a significant decrease (-12%) in the Victoria Census Metro Area, the second greatest decrease in CANADA . This report bulks all Police Department data from across Greater Victoria, not just VicPD. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/1
Grumpy Taxpayer$ is a non-profit, unaffiliated, non-partisan, citizen’s advocacy group dedicated to lower taxes, less waste, and more accountable municipal government. DONATE & JOIN US?