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The Calgary Police Service Budget – 2018

The Calgary Police Commission and the Calgary Police Service have been asked to present a budget proposal for 2018 to the City of Calgary ready for discussion between the new elected council members in November 2017. As such, CPC recently passed a motion to support increasing the budget by $14.3 in order to provide the community with the level of service they expect from police.

This motion was put forward because of the pressures we face in terms of increasing calls for service, the opioid crisis, the forthcoming legalization of marijuana, the increasing complexity of crime, as well as spikes in crimes such as sex assaults, child abuse, domestic violence and vehicle theft.

As a Service, our number one priority is to ensure public safety through community policing, while providing the necessary support to our members. These members are working tirelessly throughout the Service to deal with the increasing complexity of crime in a city that continues to grow.

Preliminary results of citizen consultations conducted this year tell us that citizens are uncertain that CPS has the resources it needs to continue to keep Calgary safe. Those consulted repeatedly shared concerns about the need for more officers to meet the demands of a growing, world-class city.

Calls attended by officers have been increasing over the years and there are often occasions when frontline members do not get to all of them by the end of their shift. This is reflective of the pressures the entire Service is facing.

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***Calls attended and calls for Service are have been steadily increasing over time. In 2016 a change was made to the alarm bylaw and we no longer respond to certain alarm calls. This would have accounted for approximatley 7,000 more calls in 2017 that are not represented in the graph above. 

 

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***We currently have significantly fewer police officers per population than most Canadian and US cities. Although Ottawa and Quebec show as having fewer members, they are bolstered by RCMP members who are not reflected in this table.

 

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***Certain categories of crime have increased significantly during the downturn in the economy.

These are not the only crimes that are on the rise. We are also seeing increases in child abuse cases and sex assaults.

To meet all the challenges we face, we continuously evaluate how we do business. This includes looking at our deployment models, adjusting our structure and prioritizing resources to address specific trends. However, each time we focus on a specific area or crime trend, it is to the detriment of other issues we are trying to address. We simply can’t cover everything and have to prioritize.

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***In 2016 we centralized resources to address house break and enters. But commercial break and enters continue to fluctuate.

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***Vehicle theft is a category of crime that has continued to increase. Given how these vheicles are driven in the city and used for other crimes, this is a significant risk to community safety.
 
 
The reality is simple, if we don’t get an increase in budget, service levels to the community will be significantly impacted.
 
We are already a very lean organization and since 2014 we have been involved in a purposeful exercise to find efficiencies and have been passing benefits of this back to the City. However, we have always told the City that we would likely need to address budget shortfalls for 2018.

We are working with the CPC to get the best budget possible so we can continue focus on ensuring public safety through community policing while providing the necessary support to our members.

Ultimately, city council will decide how much funding CPS will receive and how to fund it. The focus for CPS and the Commission is to make sure CPS and its members have the appropriate resources to effectively keep our city safe and to meet the needs of the community. We have been clear with decision-makers that withholding funding in 2018 will have consequences for the services we’re able to provide to Calgarians.
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 ***Shooting events have a significant impact on the community where they occur. Although they are often targetted attacks, offenders rarly care about innocent members of the public gettign caught in the crossfire.

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***The CPS budget is primarily used to go toward salary and wages.