Halifax police commission drafts $684,200 in budget cuts
HRP could lose important projects with new draft budget
February 7, 2019, 7:14 pm ASTLast Updated: February 7, 2019, 7:14 pm
Halifax Regional Police could lose some of its employees, if regional council passes a pared-down operating budget, says police commission chairman Steve Craig.
The Halifax Board of Police Commissioners identified $684,200 in potential cuts to its proposed budget earlier this week.
The alternative budget was requested by regional council’s budget committee on Jan. 23 to see what the budget would look like with a 1.9 per cent tax increase, instead of the 2.9 per cent municipal target originally presented.
Cuts would be implemented across a number of departments, many of which weren’t included in the original draft. Cuts include $83,600 from joint investigative efforts with outside policing agencies, $50,000 from external lab analysis services and $323,100 from vacancy management.
Vacancy management allows police to fill a vacant position immediately. Without it there would be a hiring delay, said Craig.
“I’m not sure that these changes will be noticeable to the public because the department suits more than just the front-line officers,” he said. “The decisions we made were to come in at the 1.9 per cent and were the least impactful to the overall budget and the people.”
Though the changes would not directly affect those on the front line, said Craig, the commission is hopeful council will stick with the original budget.
“Our original numbers actually came in at 2.7 per cent, so under the municipal target. We recommend that that be the budget they move forward on,” Craig said.
“We really don’t want (the revised budget) to happen, but, luckily, we’re just providing information. Nothing is decided yet.”
The Halifax regional council budget committee will vote on HRP’s draft budget on Feb. 13.