Niagara Regional Police say following an “unprecedented and exhaustive review,” that the service has received approval for its 2018 budget from the Police Service Board.
The 2018 budget will be $143.5 million, representing a 4.5% increase over 2017.
The service says the increase will bring 16 new officers to the front-line and maintaining critical specialized positions in various units including Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.
“We are in the midst of unprecedented changes in how police work is done across the country,” said Police Chief Bryan MacCulloch, in a release.
He says the NRPS did an “intensive study” of spending practices, while identifying efficiencies and redundancies to ensure taxpayer dollars were well spent.
“In the face of changes coming to cannabis legislation, increasing public expectations and the need for police agencies to responsibly spend public monies, we need to ensure the citizens of Niagara are safe,” said MacCulloch
Bob Gale, chair of the Niagara Regional Police Services Board, said that because of on-going support from regional council, Niagara remains one of the safest communities in Canada.
“Despite the impact of a 4.9% increase due to the recent arbitration award, we've been able to add 16 officers to the front-line and still achieve a 4.5% budget increase,” said Gale.
Gale says this will allow the NRPS to continue to modernize services, support regional priorities, and promote economic development while continuing to ensure provincial adequacy standards are met.”
The budget will be presented to regional council for final approval on Nov. 23, 2017.