The London Police Services Board isn’t backing down in its budget battle with City Hall.
The board has formally filed an application requesting the Ontario Civilian Police Commission order the city to pay for a cumulative $4 million increase to its budgets over the next four years.
The $4 million number amounts to what the police had originally requested, and were denied for, during council’s multi-year budgeting process. The police board maintains that it needs the money, but Councillors have said that police need to live under the same austerity measures other departments do.
From this year through to 2019, the LPS was given $393 million, despite asking for $397 million.
The application will go before Council’s Strategic Priorities Committee on Monday. It also references possible further increases at “additional amount to be determined,” which it appears may be tied to salary increases, governed by province-wide arbitration.
It’s unlikely that council will budge, but the formal application, which solidifies a request that council knew was coming, shows that the police board has no intention of letting up as of yet.
The application states that the desired budget followed a “process which involves a holistic and comprehensive review of what is needed to provide “adequate and effective police services” for the City of London.
It also suggests it’s “a challenge which entails constant and continuous evaluation and reallocation of resources to ensure that they are being used in the most cost-effective and operationally sound manner. All of this involves making informed judgements about what is acceptable risk. The budget estimates presented by the Board to the City is the result of that exercise.”
The Board wanted the City to confirm that it would recognize the Market Value Adjustment in addition to the amount submitted by the Board for 2019. It appears no such assurance was provided, with officials insisting it must be taken into account.
Police officials feel that no reasons were given for the reductions which the Board understands were made on March 10, 2016, aside from the City Guidelines.
The Board also stated that it feels it is not wise to lock in budget estimates three years in advance, arguing there should be a determination in each year of how to provide adequate and effective police services for the City of London for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
It’s believed the London Police Services Board is the first police department in Ontario to launch the OCPC application since a successful Guelph police appeal in 1999.