City of Toronto to Review the Elimination of 500 Police Officer Positions

Update: see previous post – May 11, 2011 Mayor’s Brother/Right Hand Man – Defends “Paid Duty” for Police, May 5, 2011 Toronto Police – Highest Paid in Country

In the 2012 budget the Cityof Toronto expects a huge shortfall of almost $800 million. If provisions for this fiscal reality are not put into place, this will inevitably lead to cuts in services and different departments run by the City of Toronto. If the shortfall is not tackled in the 2012 budget, the City of Toronto will increase user fees and add new ones and sell off assets

“The vision for the City’s Long Term Fiscal Plan is to be sustainable, affordable and well managed and today we are outlining how we will get there,” said City Manager Joe Pennachetti.

Joe Pennachetti, City of Toronto City Manager

Yesterday’s presentation included a Long Term Fiscal Plan update noting that the City’s debt should be held to a manageable level, and used only for long-lasting assets. User fees should be competitive with other cities in the 905 area, and also that the City’s assets need to be maintained in a state of good repair.

Cam Weldon, City of Toronto Deputy City Manager and CEO

“Strategies to balance the 2012 Budget should include major cost reduction; increase predictable, sustainable revenue sources; and Provincial assistance for operating the TTC,” said Weldon.

Councillor Michael Thompson, who is the vice-chairperson on the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB), tabled a motion to consider reducing staffing levels to about 5,100 from about 5,600 and asked the Toronto Chief of Police, Bill Blair to produce a 2012 draft budget that shows what savings could be gleaned from reducing the size of the force by 500 positions.

In response to this proposition, Chief Blair suggested that a hiring freeze in 2012, would reduce the force by 350 police officers by attrition.

The Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) in addition to the motion,  wants Chief Blair to review the possibility and report back on cutting its’ civilian force to 1,700 from 2,068.

The Toronto Police budget represents about 10% of the city’s overall operating budget and continues to grow every year.

Michael Thompson, Vice-Chair of the TPSB

Michael Thompson, is looking to reduce the police budget by 10% and will explore all of the opportunities available to him to do so.



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