The good news is that the Police budget request is $6.27M for an increase of 1.09%. The bad news is that the Town is legally only allowed to take it or leave it with no line by line veto allowed. That also means that the submitted budget will stand unlike the other departments whose budgets will be scrutinized closely and chopped to get the overall total down to the 1.9% target. But there’s more good news: the Business Services department is doing well and is not only self-sustaining but contributes to reserves used for Police Capital purchases, $2.9M expected in 2020. Chief Paul Vandegraaf also spoke about his “pivot” to evidence based policing: that is, measuring results and directing effort where statistics show it is required.
In his presentation the Chief highlighted a number of items:
- Policing is legally required to not just catch the bad guys but is comprehensive and is responsible for:
- Crime prevention;
- Law enforcement;
- Assistance to victims of crime;
- Public order maintenance;
- Emergency response.
- Cobourg’s budget increase at 1.09% compares favourably to 13 other Municipalities whose increases range from 1.94% (Port Hope) to Guelph at 9.8% with an average of around 4.7%.
- Each year the Police budget has decreased its impact on the tax levy. It was 28% in 2015 and will be 25% in 2020.
- And there is ZERO impact on the tax levy for any capital purchase.
- There are over 100 events in Cobourg where Police are involved.
- The Police have formed several partnerships – notably Cornerstone, Rebound Child and Youth Services. As well as working with them, there is a financial contribution.
Apart from mentioning the pivot to evidence based policing, Paul did not talk about crime statistics but it’s evident from the number and content of Police Press releases that there has been a recent increase in Police Activity. Also, if you go to the Police Crime plot map (go here) you can see the large number of events concentrated in the Downtown area with a secondary peak around the Strathy Road/Mall area. Be sure to expand the range of dates on the interactive display – e.g. to start on Nov 1 instead of Nov 11.
Paul also did not mention the number of officers but he did not mention any expansion either. As of August 23, 2019, the Cobourg Police Service had 35 sworn officers, 20 Special Constables and 14 Volunteer Auxiliary Constables.
- Police Budget Presentation
- Police Budget sheets (details)
- Update on Police Activity – 30 October 2019
- Police Budget for 2019 – 9 February 2019