Proposed Kingston Police budget includes 4% operational increase

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Proposed Kingston Police budget includes 4% operational increase
WATCH: Budget includes plans to hire eight new officers and four civilian personnel. The net proposed operation budget is just under $44.4M. – Feb 2, 2023

In a Thursday morning meeting the Kingston Police Service Board gave the proposed 2023 budget its stamp of approval.

The operating budget comes in at a net total of $44.4 million, a 4-per cent increase over 2022.

That increase is more than the 2.5-per cent increase that city council has asked external agencies to stick to in the past.

More than 80 per cent of the operation budget comes down to wages, benefits, and a plan to hire eight new officers and four civilians for the force’s communications centre.

Acting Kingston Police Chief Scott Fraser said in the morning meeting the hires are necessary, explaining they will increase the forces resiliency and play a role in reducing the number of officers that are off for a number of reasons.

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“In patrol, as opposed to just being reactive having the ability to be proactive as well and if there’s enough people to answer all the 9-1-1 calls and then there’s extra people who aren’t required on those, they’re free to do other things like downtown safety,” said Fraser.

If the budget gets final approval it would bring the total complement of Kingston Police officers up to 219.

The hiring is expected to take place in May and September with a focus on new fourth-class officers, providing some savings over hiring more experienced sworn officers.

Fraser also stated more front-line officers should increase police visibility and provide an increased presence in areas of the city where crime is greater.

“So looking at what’s driving the crime rate and what can we do to intervene and have an intervention and slowly work on improving our results,” Fraser told the Police Services Board during the budget presentation.

The capital budget is an additional $2.3 million and is comprised mostly of information technology and software.

The next stop for the Kingston Police proposed 2023 budget is city hall, where municipal politicians are set to begin budget deliberations later this month.


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