April 20, 2017 12:21 pm
Updated: April 20, 2017 1:12 pm

Over budget: Police directing traffic costs Montreal extra $10.5M in overtime

WATCH ABOVE: The City of Montreal released its 2016 financial report on Wednesday, boasting a $139 million surplus. But as Felicia Parrillo reports, questions are being asked about the extra $10.5 million needed to pay police for keeping road construction sites safe.

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Last year, Montreal spent $10.5 million more than expected in overtime to pay Montreal police officers directing traffic.

Police have increasingly become a common sight on street corners across the city.

READ MORE: Road work blues: Critics complain Montreal construction schedule is archaic

“It’s a result of all the construction we are having around Montreal as of now,” said Pierre Desrochers, Montreal’s executive committee member in charge of finance.

“Considering the level of construction, yes we are having an excess in that category. “

Desrochers said a senior police officer is paid around $62/hour to direct traffic.

“Those skills could probably be put to better use,” he said.

“We’ll have the discussion [with the police union]. For us, it’s a clear objective and I hope that we come to a conclusion.”

This is also the third year that Montreal police missed the mark when giving out tickets.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Montreal’s 2017 budget

In 2016, parking and road fines totaled $147 million – down $9.4 million from the previous year.

The city refused to say officers have a quota.

“We’re going to close the gap in 2017, and as we produce the 2018 budget too,” said Desrochers.

“We don’t create this impression that we’re putting quotas. There isn’t, that’s never been the way of doing it. They have to do their work and they will continue to do their work.”

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