Winnipeg police expect to collect $6.9 million less from photo radar tickets, while losing another $2 million from traditional enforcement.
Coun. Kevin Klein, chair of the Winnipeg Police Board, said he’s not surprised by the estimated drop in revenue.
“I think it does raise a valid point,” Klein said. “Why do we assign revenue to a police service?”
Instead of using money collected from photo radar to help fund the police service, Klein said he’d rather see that money go towards improving road safety.
“People see a budget number on the police service and think, ‘Well, they have to hit that or they have to make cuts,'” he said.
“Where it should go is directly to a traffic safety program that we have in the city. Maybe flashing amber lights in school zones.”
While police chief Danny Smyth admitted the budget is a concern, he said Tuesday he isn’t considering making cuts at the moment.
“At this point, I have no indication that I’ll be considering any layoffs,” Smyth said.
In March, Winnipeg police stopped enforcing the 30 km/h reduced speed limit in school zones, but resumed enforcement this week.
Coun. Scott Gillingham, chair of the finance committee, said there is relief for police and other departments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through the city’s crisis cash flow management plan.
“Not only will we likely be assisting departments with the financial stabilization reserve, but part of the cash flow management plan has also requested that departments do all they can to curb their spending and to control costs,” Gillingham said.