Oct 14,2010 Tri City News
No new police officers will be hired in Port Moody next year if city council approves the municipal police board budget for 2011.
On Tuesday, board members and Dept. Chief Const. Chris Rattenbury presented the $8.3-million financial plan, which equates to a 6.3% increase, or $494,096, for the operations budget from last year.
The driving factors behind the hike include salaries and benefits ($428,971); vehicle replacement ($12,400); more auxiliary hours for victim services ($7,270); and extra police dog insurance and boarding ($2,515).
As well, the department faces cost jumps for regional policing services for the Integrated Homicide Investigative Team ($24,400) and the Municipal Integrated Emergency Response Team ($7,341).
In addition, the board has proposed an extra $3,694 be set aside for legal fees to handle changes to the Police Act.
Meanwhile, the capital budget, which will be debated at a later city finance committee meeting, is proposed at $330,400 and includes four vehicle replacements and a new addition ($223,000); computer hardware and software ($71,400); and a PRIME booking system ($36,000).
Rattenbury said the city asked the police board to cap next year's budget at $8.3 million, "which we did," he said, though no new officers will be added to the 50-member force.
This year, PMPD brought in enhanced or new initiatives, including an expanded patrol section, Bar Watch program, false alarm reduction program, gang action plan and Sasamat Lake boat patrol.
According to the documents, the police board predicts a 6.8% budget hike in 2012 and 9.03% in 2013. Last year, the department overspent by $9,534 on its $7.3-million budget. This year's budget is $7.8 million.