Police Budget for 2023

Setting of the Cobourg Police budget is not interrupted by the Council election so their timetable means that their 2023 budget will be ready for approval in November 2022. On Monday, the Police released a draft budget for public feedback – “draft” because it’s not yet approved. I don’t recall this being done in previous years. It’s only the operating budget but in recent years Capital items have been funded from their Business services. The key thing to note is that “Funding from the Town of Cobourg Tax Levy is currently estimated at $6,913,302, a 3.89% increase from the contributions for 2022.” Most of the Police cost is salaries and that has increased because of “contractual requirements”. It’s an easy guess that the Town’s budget will go up by a similar amount although more is possible since inflation is more than 7%.

You can download the full budget from the links in Resources below but let me provide some highlights.

Highlights

The General budget increase is from $5,577,104 in 2022 to $5,961,438 for 2023 – a 6.89% increase. But a reduction in Court Security and administration cost brings the increase down to 3.89%. No written detailed explanation is provided except that Payroll Salaries and wages are subject to “Contractual wage increase, 1 New Uniform Recruit”.

Salary Highlights

Without naming names but simply providing titles, Police wages have been provided, both uniformed and civilian. The sunshine list would provide many of these anyway but it’s a first that these are provided in a budget.

The Police Chief has a salary of $196.321, the Deputy gets $169,000 and others have salaries between there and Constables 4th class who get $74,328. See page #8 of the budget for details. (For comparison, the OPP commissioner got $354,343 in 2021). The highest paid civilian is the CAO (Roger Ramkissoon) at $155,078. See page #10 of the budget for details on Civilian salaries. Publication of salaries is foreign to me but I suppose in a union environment it’s normal.

Dean Pepper

A lot of detail is provided but with limited explanations as to why a number went up or down. But the good news is that it’s available for public comment. The release of the budget was accompanied by some statements (summarized):

  • The Cobourg Police Services Board (the Board) Finance Committee, with the assistance of the Cobourg Police Service Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), created the draft operating budget. Chief Paul VandeGraaf and CAO Roger Ramkissoon presented the draft budget to the Board at a special meeting on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.
  • Chair Dean Pepper, Cobourg Police Services Board says: “We encourage community members to provide comments and feedback on the draft budget.”
  • Note that all 2023 budgeted numbers are estimates only and are subject to change during deliberations.
  • Feedback can be summited to CAO Roger Ramkissoon by email at roger.ramkissoon@cobourgpolice.com until November 11, 2022.
  • Community feedback will be shared with the Board for consideration as budget planning continues.

Cobourg Police Board (to end of 2022)

Dean Pepper (Chair); Ronald Kerr (Vice Chair); John Henderson (Mayor); Aaron Burchat (Councillor); Sean Graham (Board Member).

After accepting public input, the Police budget is reviewed and subject to modification by the Police Board who will then approve it. It is then incorporated into the Town’s budget. Council can only approve or reject the entire budget – they cannot make any changes to details.

Resources

Addendum 20 October

Police have released the budget with a “revised format”. It’s easier to understand but a whole lot shorter and missing salary information and other details.

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Cobourg taxpayer
20 October 2022 7:20 pm

From the first proposed draft budget I read these staffing figures
42 police of one level or another
16 special constables
11 support staff
10 part time general
5 court administration
5 corporate services
37 clerks (corporate services)
5 police services board
These staffing figures in my opinion are outrageous for a town the size of Cobourg. That’s why we pay the taxes we do. The only voice the taxpayer has is from the elected officials and apparently this is acceptable.

Bryan
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
20 October 2022 8:41 pm

Cobourg taxpayer,

It may appear so to you. The question is how many other Cobourg residents feel the same. Council has, to date, not been able to exercise any authority over the Cobourg Police Services. The Cobourg Police services Board is in control. Two council members are on the board: Mayor Henderson and Councilor Burchat. They have been ineffective keeping Council informed about police financial matters. Further, they have not sought advice or direction from Council regarding the police.

Residents are expressing concerns about their safety in Cobourg. There is lots of talk, but seemingly little action.

Perhaps a new Council with strong leadership will be able to provide the direction needed. This requires a wholesale change. One or two new faces won’t do the trick. We need doers, not administrators, dreamers, sticks in the mud or a napper.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Pete M
Reply to  Bryan
11 November 2022 10:18 am

Bryan
Today there was a serious single motor vehicle collision on Danforth Rd between Jarvis and Nagle.
In order to.properly investigate the circumstances of this collision, the Cobourg Police had to call in the Technical Collision Reconstructionist from the OPP.
There have other instances where OPP Forensic Services had to be used by Cobourg Police.

Maybe with a “new” council and calls for changes to Cobourg Police, this is the time for an OPP costing?

Bryan
Reply to  Pete M
12 November 2022 12:51 pm

Pete M,
It would be interesting to see the actual revenue & expenses for “general policing & facilities” in a bid format similar to what the OPP uses. This would show the cost of core police services as set out in the police act and the cost of “extras”. That way Cobourgers could see exactly what services they are paying for.

It costs Cobourg significantly more (25-30%) than peer communities like Port Hope. If the crimcheck transfer to police general operations is excluded, about $2M must be added to the total cost. This makes the apples to apples comparison significantly worse.

Ben
Reply to  Pete M
13 November 2022 9:51 am

Let’s kick off this debate about going OPP. The big reason it failed last time was that the OPP refused to dedicate Officers to Cobourg, instead wanting general deployment, including OPP and County coverage. Also without that dedication they could not guarantee the same response time as the Cobourg Service.

Just remember we get what we pay for. W may want to price a barebones Police service and reduce the number of officers, but you may be surprised with the answers to the suggestion. The whole Department is integrated and keeps cost down by cross-subsidisation.

But kick it around once again!

Bryan
Reply to  Ben
13 November 2022 11:31 am

Ben,
Perhaps a “county” police force could be an option instead of the OPP. Similar to the regional police services in Peel, York Durham. etc.

Ben
Reply to  Bryan
13 November 2022 3:11 pm

A good suggestion Bryan, but probably politically non-viable due to local fiefdoms and their allegiance to the OPP.

Pete M
Reply to  Ben
16 November 2022 9:14 am

Well Ben, Orangeville did and they were accepting of the OPP and their Dufferin County model for policing.
Even the Regional Police cant guarantee an officer to an assigned Zone. Regional.police move officers to the area where the need is.

Trust me there is enough crime and Mental health matters in Cobourg to ensure there will always be 2 officers in the Town.
I suspect that the Town will be drawing officers away from the patrol areas outside the Town to meet the calls for service in Town

Ben
Reply to  Pete M
16 November 2022 10:44 am

Trust me there is enough crime and Mental health matters in Cobourg to ensure there will always be 2 officers in the Town.”

And you think that is enough, the taxfighters on this board will love you for that!

Kyle
Reply to  Bryan
12 November 2022 10:40 am

The current Board has been quiet secretly playing with the pile of cash in the Criminal Records check fund. Publicly disclosing the line by line expenses on that account would be some very interesting reading.

Bryan
Reply to  Kyle
12 November 2022 12:48 pm

Kyle & Pete M,

The line by line expenses of the crimcheck business are included in the budget. What is not disclosed is the estimated $4.3M+ crimcheck revenue or the total of the crimcheck reserve.

Per the 2022 budget, crimcheck operations costs about $2.1M, $1.6M transferred to offset Police General operations and $390K in capital expenses. This totals about $4.1M. The additional 200K+ is undisclosed

Kyle
Reply to  Bryan
12 November 2022 1:08 pm

That is my point, not about budget but the line by line expenses.

Bryan
Reply to  Kyle
12 November 2022 1:17 pm

Kyle,

I’m not clear about your point. Your previous comment suggested that public disclosure of the crimcheck line by line accounts would be useful.

As I noted, the line by line information is available in the Town’s annual budget. The hidden accounts are the crimcheck revenue and reserve

Frenchy
Reply to  Bryan
12 November 2022 5:08 pm

I wonder if Kyle was referring to stuff like, how much did that all electric Mustang cost and who decided on spending that much for something that has basically turned into a mobile billboard?

Bryan
Reply to  Frenchy
12 November 2022 6:14 pm

Frenchy,

Quite possibly. The CPSB made the decisions based on police requests. Thank former Mayor Henderson & Clr Burchat

Frenchy
Reply to  Bryan
12 November 2022 10:20 pm

Don’t try to put the blame on those two. When appointed to the board you are given one rubber stamp… “APPROVED”!
The board spends money willy-nilly on whims and wishes with their “bicycle fund”.

Last edited 22 days ago by Frenchy
Bryan
Reply to  Frenchy
12 November 2022 10:39 pm

Agreed.
All 5 CPSB members share the blame

Kyle
Reply to  Frenchy
13 November 2022 7:55 am

They certainly forgot their statutory role is “Governance” not ‘“Cheerleading”. The electric mustang is an incredible waist of public funds that showcase why the entire PSB needs to be replaced.

Ben
Reply to  Bryan
13 November 2022 3:13 pm

deleted

Last edited 21 days ago by Ben
Frenchy
Reply to  Ben
13 November 2022 10:24 pm

“deleted”

Boy, I would love to read what was originally written here.

Last edited 21 days ago by Frenchy
Pete M
Reply to  Bryan
16 November 2022 8:46 am

I think we can all agree thats is the real question….how much money is sitting in the criminal checks reserves? And we all feel that the actual answer is not forthcoming.
We see funds released every now and again …like a new electric for mustang mach e or funds for the cobourg pipe band and mou that they will play for the Police as the police pipe band and certain police functions.

I suspect that there is enough sitting there to build a new station.
And dont be surprised when the board brings it up during this 4 yr council term.

Rob
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
21 October 2022 8:36 am

I guess my question is what is your opinion based on? What is the correct number of officers that should patrol the streets 24×7? I’m not sure what the threshold is where the town has appropriate coverage to attend incidents while having continuity in its traffic enforcement and daily task completion; do you know? What about vacation coverage, sick time and other LOA’s (officers are not immune to such things), how does that get covered so to not impact public service and safety? What about peak periods requiring additional support – inclement weather, Christmas, New Years, back to school, heavy tourism periods, etc… There is no doubt, we are seeing an increase in petty crime, mental health calls, addiction and domestics as a result of Covid and difficult economic times – these won’t go away any time soon.

To be clear, the 37 clerks are revenue generators not cost centers – they operate within the reference checking program.

Rob
20 October 2022 2:18 pm

My opinion is, give them the tools they need to do the job necessary. I’ve seen multiple contributors in this blog state, they do not feel safe downtown after dark. How much safer will you feel with fewer boots on the ground… if you have never been a victim of crime, it’s hard to understand the value of community policing. This isn’t only about addicts. This is an increase in bullying. Youth mental health calls for assistance. Domestic/child abuse and adult mental health calls. Petty crimes. Retail shop lifting. Vandalism. Regular daily patrols and events. MVA’s. First responder assistance. Ride programs and seasonal programs. Homelessness. Community outreach and preventative approaches. And yes, addict (drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, etc..) and trafficking (drugs and human) and all the nastiness that goes along with it.

Pay them. Equip them. You appreciate the value when your 911 call is responded to.

Bryan
20 October 2022 12:49 pm

I have reviewed the revised CPS 2023 Draft Budget. It is not an improvement. As JD notes, there is a lot less information than the original.

For example, The original general police budget shows (pg 3) a 30% ($393,405) increase in benefits. No explanation is provided. The revised budget shows only a 25.4% increase and the 2022 and 2023 budget numbers are different Again, no explanation. This is not transparent.

Further, in the revised draft, the overview (pg 2) doesn’t add. The $40K misc revenue is shown twice.

Page 3 is barely readable and should be carried over to pg 4 which is mostly blank.

Page 5 shows revenues and expenses by source and cost centre. Only some of the amounts agree with the amounts shown on pg2. The two big costs, general protection and court security don’t agree. A more useful presentation would be to show the cost centre net: revenue less expenses to show the net taxpayer subsidy.

The comparative numbers are budgets, no actuals.
Where are the 2021 actuals

There are no % showing the increase/decrease

Again please, why does the police services need a CAO at $155K?

Last edited 1 month ago by Bryan
Frenchy
Reply to  Bryan
20 October 2022 4:11 pm

why does the police services need a CAO at $155K?

To help them count all the money they make on the corporate side.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frenchy
Bryan
Reply to  Frenchy
20 October 2022 5:37 pm

Frenchy,

Notwithstanding your tongue-in-cheek comment, if that is the case the cop’s “CAO” should be included with the staff of corporate services instead of general policing.
That aside, The $4m+ in revenue that the Crimcheck business generates a net income that provides $1,750,000 towards the Cops operations costs and a further $375K+ in capital costs. That’s $2,125,000+ that Cobourg taxpayers don’t have to “contribute”

cornbread
Reply to  Bryan
20 October 2022 9:32 pm

Sounds like a police state to me

Eastender
19 October 2022 8:52 am

Just curious where the Police Segways went?

Ken
Reply to  Eastender
19 October 2022 9:29 am

….and what about that beautiful big Harley? I hope the police garage is big enough to hold the Harley, Segways and the electric Mustang?…..just wondering.

Frenchy
Reply to  Ken
19 October 2022 6:39 pm

It’s rumoured that a helicopter is on the wish list.🤑

Rational
Reply to  Frenchy
19 October 2022 7:19 pm

While I guess you are trying to be funny the police budget presented would have been well thought out. In my view your comment Mr Frenchy is disrespectful.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rational
Kyle
Reply to  Rational
19 October 2022 8:31 pm

Using the deaths to deflect criticism of ridiculous use of funds is the disrespectful comment.

Frenchy
Reply to  Rational
20 October 2022 7:17 am

Dear Rational,
My comment had nothing to do with the police budget presented to our town. Nor does the purchase of cars, Segways, motorcycles, or even helicopters. 🤑

Dunkirk
19 October 2022 8:14 am

Folks—we are what we spend our money on, and, in Cobourg it’s Police and Parks. Nothing comes close to the millions on their budget lines and those millions amount to two things Wages and Benefits. Yes, our Parks are terrific and numerous and our Police do a great job and very few enterprises show the kind of return that the CrimCheck business can turn. I’m also thoroughly impressed by their timely and detailed reporting.(why can’t the Town do that?)

BUT–As former Mayor Delanty declared 2 decades ago, when he respectfully declined a paid appointment to the Police Services Board, we have ‘the Cadillac of Police Forces’ and from a budgetary standpoint I can’t say much has changed. Has it? Is it ‘ok’ that we spend double what Port Hope spends?

Lets get the next Council to appoint some representatives that ask the hard questions of the PSB, since these really are million dollar questions…It seems our sleepy representatives just keep rubber stamping the unending growth. Am I right? If that is to be the case, we might as well just get the Police Services to replace our Council and at least we’d get some timely and comprehensive reporting.

cornbread
Reply to  Dunkirk
19 October 2022 8:37 am

The Police Services Board is made up of bunch of YesMen it seems. Old retired guys, the first three. If we spend double that of Port Hope on policing and a tonne more of Fire Dept. the people of Conourg are paying toooo much..WHY??

cornbread
Reply to  cornbread
19 October 2022 10:27 am

Nice payroll benefits tooo…about 35% of payroll wages for our men in blue.

marya
19 October 2022 7:50 am

Given the dynamics of the times in which we live and in which (we and) the Police endure, I have no problem with the 2023 Police Budget.

Dave
Reply to  marya
19 October 2022 8:07 am

I agree marya. Recently it was announced the names of people committing crimes would no longer be published in the paper, reason given – so people would not gossip about them. How strange. The ones you know you see in your neighbourhood previously shown as up in court, mostly a revolving jurdiscial door, vague descriptions by age which makes you think it is one and the same person. Arrested, re-arrested and committing the same crimes. All costing police man hours and investigation. Responsibilities shifted to the police – out on bail, probation violations. The courts with appointed judges. Not to mention the population signs for Cobourg – after at least 10 years, West Park, New Amherst, Stallwood, new condos, rental buildings and the census states Cobourg has only grown by 5,000 over what those old signs reflect. What is truly the population here – how much follow up and tracing of the census figure is truly being done? How many repeats are the police now chasing due to a lax catch and release system not of the police making?

Hope this will provide an opportunity for the police to further elaborate.

Rational
Reply to  Dave
19 October 2022 9:47 am

An example of this is the article in yesterdays’ Northumberland Today. A person was arrested one week ago in Cobourg for selling drugs and charged. They were released the next day after meeting bail. This past Sunday they were arrested again in Cobourg for selling drugs.
The police have a difficult job and we need to support them every way possible – including budgets.

Cobourg taxpayer
18 October 2022 8:23 pm

I emailed the CAO of the Cobourg police to request statistics for budget/staffing numbers for the last 20 years for comparison purposes. If not 20 years then 10 years or at the very least 5 years. My perception is that Cobourg population growth has been a lot lower then police staffing and budget increases.

Kevin
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
19 October 2022 8:11 am

Perhaps it is true that police staffing and budget have increased faster than the population. However, most residents are law abiding and do not require much police intervention. It is the homeless, or nearly homeless, and drug issues that take a significant portion of police time. How does the increase in police budget compare to the increase in drug use and the number of homeless people? I am not implying all homeless people commit crimes or are drug addicts but there does seem to be a correlation. Drug addicts have great difficulty keeping jobs and need to get drugs somehow. Crime allows them to support their habits. I don’t think an increase in drug use should be used to justify an increase in police budget either.

Dave
Reply to  Kevin
19 October 2022 8:22 am

What is your suggestion then Kevin? Ignore the crimes they commit – it all takes time to arrest, re-arrest and answer the multitude of calls generated. And what is the population? I certainly don’t believe those 10 year and more old signs which declare it to be 18,500 nor the mere 5,000 that are the declared figure after the new census.

As for wages and benefits of government employees of all kinds I recall a prior Blog item where this was discussed – private renumeration vs public renumeration and the factum said it was all well and good to pay benefits and salaries head and shoulders above private industry – there shouldn’t be a race to the bottom despite the public being tax payer funded was the consensus of the people answering that particular subject on that Blog item.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave
Merle Gingrich
Reply to  Dave
19 October 2022 11:56 am

With respect to population signs, I enquired about this some time ago. There are Blue signs and Green signs, one of them costs ?5000.00 to change.

Dave
Reply to  Merle Gingrich
19 October 2022 12:33 pm

Well Merle as it’s been 10 years or more for each year if they changed it this year it would cost $500. or less for each year it has stood there. Only seen the blue ones. Think it is about time but then from what I’ve read the population count is rather low, not accurate.

Kevin
Reply to  Dave
21 October 2022 7:53 am

Dave, I think you misunderstood my comment. I was responding to Cobourg taxpayer regarding the size of the police force. In my opinion the size of the police force should be based on need and not size of the population of Cobourg. If crime rates have been going up faster than the population then it might be appropriate for the police force to increase faster than the population. Unfortunately, as a society, we do not have a solution to the problems of homeless/addicts/mentally ill people. Some of these people commit a significant number of minor crimes (bicycle theft, car break ins). The police catch them and they are released. Is anybody surprised that these people keep committing the same crimes?
“…all well and good to pay benefits and salaries head and shoulders above private industry…” Really? In that case most people might want to work in the public sector. But, I remember reading in a post about low morale in the Cobourg public sector. Maybe good benefits and high salaries are not so good after all.

Dave
Reply to  Kevin
24 October 2022 12:01 am

Hello Kevin – Sorry to have misunderstood you. I also think the population is much higher here than officially stated.

As for low morale in public places I recall my spouse worked in the public sector recently. She smiled when she heard the grumblings by long term public sector employees, she had also heard grumbling in private sector employment places – a discontented lot perhaps. I recall one wise mentor saying to me when I began working. He said to me “You have no idea (having started his career in the 30s) what it is like to have no work available.” I carried this thought in any position I have held.

Bryan
18 October 2022 3:01 pm

The click HERE on the CPSB page for the draft budget doesn’t work
https://cobourgpoliceservice.com/2022/10/17/budget/

The link provided by JD does work.