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Saskatoon Police Association wants more officers than what’s proposed in budget

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon Police Association wants more officers than what’s proposed in budget' Saskatoon Police Association wants more officers than what’s proposed in budget
WATCH: Union frustrated with the City of Saskatoon's plan to allocate just enough money for seven new officers – Oct 31, 2019

The Saskatoon Police Association is concerned after city administration released its preliminary budget for 2020 and 2021.

The first draft shows the city hiring about 100 full-time employees over both years, but only seven of those will go to police.

READ MORE: New Saskatoon city budget proposes nearly 7% property tax increase over 2 years

The union is frustrated, citing a 2017 report that stated Saskatoon is short by about three dozen officers for optimal staffing.

“So the 38 identified in the audit and then seven per year for additional for growth. Three in 2020, four in 2021,” Saskatoon Police Association president Dean Pringle said.

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According to the city, about a quarter out of every property tax dollar is dedicated to policing in the proposed budget.

Pringle said more boots on the ground are needed with officer burnout cited as a real concern.

READ MORE: Health Canada approves 1st supervised consumption site in Saskatchewan

Meanwhile, Health Canada has approved the province’s first supervised consumption site in the city, with doors expected to open next year.

Police Chief Troy Cooper is making a proposal to add two officers on or near the site at all times, which works out to eight new officers. That meeting of the board of police commissioners is scheduled for next week.

Last month, Cooper invoked a rare emergency clause, altering schedules so the force can handle a rise in calls and demand in service.

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon police commission engages stakeholders in community meeting' Saskatoon police commission engages stakeholders in community meeting
Saskatoon police commission engages stakeholders in community meeting – Oct 18, 2019

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