City Council has approved a request to provide additional funding for the Lethbridge Police Service for the remaining two years of the current operating budget.
Council members voted 8-1 in favour of allocating $700,000 in 2017, increasing to $830,000 in 2018 to the police service's annual operating budget to address overtime costs associated with major crimes, a lower-than-expected rate of officer retirements, the loss of provincial funding and increasing legal costs. Police Chief Rob Davis told Council that the police service has worked hard to find efficiencies but would face an $830,000 annual deficit by 2018 without the additional funding.
"I think Police Chief Davis has demonstrated that the police service has strived to find new efficiencies in its operations in the past two years. Despite these efforts, there are factors outside their control, and as City Council, we want to ensure they have sufficient resources to continue making Lethbridge a safe community," says Mayor Chris Spearman.
The additional budget allocation will be funded from contingencies and will have no impact on taxation in 2017 or 2018.
Gerald Gauthier, Communications Consultant