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Saanich police seek an extra $1.45 million for 2022 budget

Department policing cost per capita among lowest for B.C. municipal police forces in 2019
Saanich police Chief Const. Scott Green presented a report on the department’s 2022 provisional budget to council on Nov. 15. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Saanich police 2022 operating budget was presented to council on Nov. 15 with the request for an increase in funding of 3.88 per cent, or nearly $1.45 million.

Chief Const. Scott Green said in a presentation the increase is needed to fund additions to staff, wages and rising operating expenses.

He said service delivery reviews happen regularly to improve the efficiency of the department and help determine what is working well and areas of efficiency that have yet to be realized.

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A staff report noted that a stakeholder consultation survey done as part of the Saanich Police Strategic Plan process found a high level of customer satisfaction in the service provided by the department, while the cost of providing that service remains much lower than the provincial average.

The Police Services in British Columbia 2019 report calculated the cost of policing in Saanich at $264 per capita, while the provincial average for municipal police forces was $410. The report showed B.C. departments’ total policing costs ranging from $277 to $504 per capita.

“We’re trying to take a very fiscally responsible approach from year to year,” Green said during the meeting, adding he hopes the budget will remain within its current range for years to come.

The police budget will be reconsidered in February or March in conjunction with the rest of the 2022 budget.