Chief of Police J P Lesveque presented the budget proposal to Police Services Board

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Chief of Police JP Lesveque
Chief of Police JP Lesveque
THUNDER BAY – Leader’s Ledger – Thunder Bay Chief of Police J P Lesveque presented the budget proposal to the Police Services Board earlier today. Here is the presentation made by the Chief:

Chair and members of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board, I am pleased to present the 2012 Operational and Capital Budget estimates for your consideration.

The estimates are being presented to the Thunder Bay Police Services Board and Thunder Bay Municipal Council pursuant to Section 39 of the Police Services Act.

The 2012 Operational Budget submissions are being presented on the 2011 net operational budget base. The net budget base for 2011 is $ 32,708,700.00.

In 2012, the Thunder Bay Police Service will launch a new three year business plan designed to meet the objectives and priorities for the provision of policing services determined by the Thunder Bay Police Services Board.

Those objectives and priorities have yet to be determined by the board but the plan should be completed early in the new year.

The Operational and Capital Budget Estimates are one component that enables the Service to deploy personnel and resources to meet those yet to be determined objectives and priorities of the Business Plan. In December of 2011, the authorized strength of the Service is 224 sworn officers and 92 Civilian Members, for a combined authorized strength of 316 members.

Approximately 71 % of the personnel of the Service are sworn officers with the remainder of personnel being civilian staff in support and operational roles. Approximately 10 % of the Operational Budget relates to costs associated with day to day operations and material and maintenance accounts, while the remainder of the budget, or approximately 90 %, is related to wages and benefits for personnel.

Crime and Disorder issues within our community, especially, incidents of violent crime, remain an area of concern to our citizens and our police service. Although the root causes of violent crime can be traced to a myriad of social issues out of the control of the Service, enforcement initiatives are a component of the overall strategy to address this very complicated issue. The Service must work hand in hand with other agencies to coordinate enforcement with prevention and treatment to achieve the long term objective of a reduction in violent crime within our community.

Deployment of personnel to meet this challenge is being achieved through a number of initiatives. The Service has deployed specialty units to suppress and investigate the activities in the areas of street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, illicit drug distribution, internet child exploitation and luring, frauds, elder abuse, organized criminal groups and child abuse. These units activities, coupled with the activities of front line first responders, provide a holistic approach to the provision of policing services to a community. However, the increased reliance on specialty units to address the above noted crime and disorder problems do have an impact in the area of uniform patrol deployment.

In the past decade, the provision of policing services to our community has become more taxing on the resources of the Service due to a number of factors that include, but are not limited to, legislated mandates; reliance on policing to address social issues; the complexity of investigations and directing resources to address non-core policing functions.

In 2010, Thunder Bay Municipal Council launched a major initiative that in the long term should prove to be one effective methodology in addressing crime and disorder issue that have a negative impact on our community. The Crime Prevention Council initiative, of which the police service plays a role, will bring together various parts of our community who have a vested interest in overall community safety. This initiative is long term in nature and serves to address the root causes of crime from the stand point of sustainability.

The Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative sanctioned by the Chief Administrative Officers of the major municipalities in Ontario clearly shows that the workload of our police service in dealing with criminal incidents is challenging. The data reflects the need to maintain the resources that we have in order to properly address crime and disorder problems.

In 2012, once the Police Services Board has determined the objectives and priorities for the provision of police services to this community, police administration will respond to those priorities by examining the deployment of resources in order to meet the direction of the Board. However, it is important to understand that the issue of substance abuse, especially in the area of prescription and illicit drugs is one of the primary factors driving the overall violent and property crime rates in the City of Thunder Bay. Many of the areas of policing priorities where officers are currently deployed are directly related to this significant social problem that is a one of the root causes of our crime rates.

The 2012 base Operating Budget reflects the following changes in the four key areas of the budget:

a. Personnel Services – three point one percent ( 3.1 %) increase;
b. Purchased Services – four point five percent (4.5 %) increase;
c. Materials & Supplies – thirty three point two percent (33.2 %) increase;
d. Revenues – seven point four percent (7.4 %) increase.

There was no change to the “Rents & Financial Expenses” Category from 2011 to 2012.

The three point one percent (3.1 %) or $ 1,038,400 increase to Personnel Services is due in large part to wage adjustments resulting from a contract settlement. These wage adjustments total $742,800 for 2012. The corresponding increase to fringe benefits is $151,700 or an increase of two point four percent (2.4 %). Other factors contributing to the increase in Personnel Services include a thirty three point three percent (33.3 %)
increase to the overtime budget valued at $200,000 and a $95,000 or thirty six point five percent (36.5 %) increase to WSIB accounts.

The five point four percent (4.5 %) or $ 54,800 increase to Purchased Services is due to increased insurance costs for both public liability and fleet coverage. These costs are allocated by Facilities and Fleet based on number of employees and number of vehicles respectively and are beyond the control of the Thunder Bay Police Service. Budget allocations for insurance are based on a full cost recovery model. Additionally, the increase to Purchased Services can in part be attributed to an increase in communication costs; both telephone and cellular.

The thirty three point two percent (33.2 %) or $ 494,300 increase to the Materials & Supplies accounts is the result of a need to increase five (5) operating accounts substantially in an effort to fully fund annual expenditures.

The increase of $129,800 or one hundred and seventy three point one percent (173.1 %) to the Legal Fees Settlements account is a responsible reaction to the knowledge that the Thunder Bay Police Service is currently involved in numerous complex litigations which are expected to continue into 2012.

The Travel and Convention account has increased one hundred and thirty seven point five percent (137.5 %) or $55,000 to augment the development of Senior Officers through travel and training. This particular budget has not been increased in recent years; severely limiting the ability of the Police Service to further educate members of the Senior Command Team. Because training courses at this level are complex and typically not offered locally, the tuition and travel costs are substantial. The ability to send senior staff to more sophisticated forms of training directly impacts succession planning.

The increase of $ 83,000 or one thousand and thirty seven point five percent (1,037.5 %) to the Confidential Investigation Fund is required to bring it to a level which allows investigations to be sufficiently funded. The previous budget allocation of $8,000 was far too low to finance any significant investigations.

A number of other Material accounts were increased to a lesser degree with a view toward fully covering the cost of essential goods and services.

The revenue accounts are projected to increase by seven point four percent (7.4 %) or $290,700 in 2012. As the Thunder Bay Police Service enters the third year of administering “Paid Duty” an increase of $25,000 or six point six percent (6.6 %) is expected. This increase is linked directly to ever growing demand for hired Police services; particularly in the areas of mobile escorts and order maintenance/security.

The Miscellaneous Revenue account is expected to see an increase of $20,000 or thirty three point three percent (33.3 %). The increase is the result of greater revenue earned through various business licensing fees.

The Internal Administrative Recovery/Revenue account reflects funds earned through the provision of dispatch services for Fire and 911. As a result of negotiated wage increases, this recovery is projected to increase by $64,800 or six point six percent (6.6 %).

Mr. Chair, the 2012 Police Operational Budget represents a four percent (4 %) or $1,296,800 increase over the 2011 Operational Budget. The net cost of the Operational Budget for 2012 is $ 34,005,500.00 at this time. The original 2011 budget of $32,016,100 has been adjusted to $ 32,708,700 to reflect negotiated wage and benefit increases.

The 2012 Capital Budget estimate contains a number of equipment purchases necessary to ensure that outdated and unreliable equipment is replaced. The total Capital Budget requests for 2012 are $ 858,800.00 net which reflects a reduction of $ 83,700.00 over 2011.

The police vehicle replacement expenditure reflects the purchase of marked and unmarked cruisers. This adheres to the long-term vehicle replacement plan developed for Thunder Bay Police in 1998 that reduces vehicle maintenance costs and ensures emergency response reliability. The net cost is estimated at $ 293,000.00.

$30,000.00 has been allocated for the purchase of soft body armour. This armour has a life cycle of five years and this expenditure reflects the long term cyclical replacement schedule for this equipment.

The Service has a long term cyclical replacement plan to ensure that police computer systems hardware and applications are maintained at optimum efficiency and effectiveness. The ongoing schedule was developed to ensure that unreliable equipment such as desktop computers; laptops, monitors, gigabyte switches, printers and related software are replaced in appropriate budget years. $ 387,900.00 has been allocated in the 2012 Capital Budget to adhere to the long term replacement schedule of this plan.

The Thunder Bay Police Service Emergency Task Unit is the only tactical unit trained in hostage/rescue capability in Northwestern Ontario. The unit requires specialized equipment to meet its provincially mandated capability. $ 40,000.00 has been allocated in this budget for cyclical replacement of equipment that has become unreliable and equipment to keep the unit current with modern technologies.

$ 8,400.00 has been budgeted for the purchase of equipment used in the investigation of organized crime activities that impact our community.

16,700.00 has been budgeted for furniture replacement. Current corporate policy requires each department to budget for their own furniture requirements. As well as cyclical replacement of worn and old furniture, there is a requirement to purchase ergonomic furniture to meet WSIB accommodations and to replace old workstations with ergonomic furniture to reduce workplace injury.

$19,500.00 has been budgeted for operational renovations/improvements within the Police Facility. These improvements include expansion of the card access system to internal doors to augment security of sensitive areas and provide an audit trail. Numerous audits have identified the need for heightened security from a risk management perspective. The renovations also include sound proofing of the Information Technology office to create a suitable work environment in an area where space is extremely limited.

An allotment of $63,300.00 has been set aside to finance the replacement of highly specialized work stations located in the Communications Centre. Existing work stations have been in use 24/7 for the past 16 years. These stations are wearing out and replacement parts are rapidly becoming obsolete. Failure to replace the work stations will result in a loss of ergonomic adjustability which will ultimately become a health and safety concern.

A final capital project for 2012 is the deployment of an Electronic Traffic Ticketing System, more commonly know as “E-ticketing”. Hand held devices are used to generate tickets more quickly by interfacing with driver and/or vehicle data. E-ticketing has the potential to save time and improve accuracy.

Later in the meeting I will be asking the Board to approve funding for The Eticketing project from an existing reserve fund in the amount of $18,900.

In closing, Mr. Chair, I would like to thank the Senior Command Team and the staff of Thunder Bay Police Service for preparing these budget estimates for your consideration.

I am now prepared to answer any questions that you may have in relation to the Operational and Capital Estimates as presented.

J. P. Levesque
Chief of Police
Thunder Bay Police Service