April 4, 2019 8:47 am
Updated: April 4, 2019 8:48 am

Peterborough Police Service looks to cash in on near $395,000 budget surplus

The Peterborough Police Services Board are dealing with an unusual situation: What to do with a surplus of nearly $400,000.

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Peterborough police are dealing with an unusual situation: what to do with a budget surplus of $394,775.

The police services board has a few ideas, but must first get the blessing of city council.

Gary Baldwin is the board chair.

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“There’s about $1 million in information technology requirements, so the $400,000 will go a long way to having the chief and the board prioritize where that money could be spent,” Baldwin said.

Police have the extra money from the 2018 budget in part because six officers were on long-term leave last year, so there were savings from reduced salaries and benefits.

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Baldwin says the money would be well spent on high-tech equipment.

“Storage is becoming an issue,” he said. “There has to be a lot of evidence now stored on video, texting and e-mail and all of that stuff so I know the service is challenged with where to keep all of that.

“Part of that is to have more storage and servers,” Baldwin added.

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The police service is the only city-based agency that must ask council to keep any unspent money, and when that’s happened before, there’s been a split.

“Under the last council [it] became a tradition of only returning half of it, so we’ll see if we can get the full 100 per cent back because there are lots of capital projects they need the money for,” said Mayor Diane Therrien.

The board will now send a letter to council requesting the cash back.

It could take at least a month before a decision is made.

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