It costs a pretty penny to run a police service, and that cost may be going up even more. At Monday night’s council meeting, the Barrie Police Services Board presented this year’s draft budget, and it comes with a million dollar increase. While operating costs have actually gone down from last year to this, the police services board says salary costs are going up by about $1.7 million. That said, no new officer hires are in this year’s budget. Instead, the service wants to hire four new civilian members to help behind the scenes. Chief Greenwood says as a police service grows, so too should its staff.
Greenwood explains why she feels it necessary to civilianize the city’s police service.
The total proposed operating budget for the police service is $50.3 million, a 3% increase over last year. Meanwhile, the County of Simcoe had a turn at the podium at City Hall Monday evening too. County officials presented a budget that calls for a just over half a million dollar increase to the amount of money Barrie gives the county to cover its social, community, health and emergency services costs, expected to be $21.4 million in 2017. The Barrie Public Library was also at City Hall Monday night to present a budget with a $100,0000 proposed budget increase, for a total of just over $8 million. None of the budgets presented have been approved, the city has lots of paperwork to do before they even get close to that stage.