Police budget for 2021 has proposed 2.34% increase

Cornwall Police Chief Danny Aikman. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The Cornwall Police Service is looking at a budget increase for 2021 of 2.34 per cent.

Chief Danny Aikman presented the budget to the board yesterday (Thursday).

The increase – which amounts to a little less than half a million in real dollars – is less than the 2.98 per cent in 2020 but higher than the less than inflationary hikes in years prior to 2020.

The police department had a loss this year of about $90,000 in revenue with people not getting vulnerable sector checks and background checks during the pandemic. The budget plans on $10,000 less in revenue in 2021 as the pandemic drags on.

Around 88 per cent of the $21.6 million operating budget is made up of wages and benefits – costs that are not adjustable because they are protected by collective agreements.

With $175,800 in capital expenses planned for next year and revenue of nearly $1.6 million, the total net budget comes in at just over $20.2 million.

The CPS plans to buy three hybrid SUV cruisers next year and bring in next generation 911, where people can text message or send video and data to the emergency service.

The police board has passed the budget but it still has to be approved by city council.

The Cornwall Police Service currently has 104 police officers and 55 full and part-time civilian members.