The budget dispute between the London Police Service and City Hall has been resolved.
During Tuesday night’s council meeting, councillors unanimously endorsed a $2.7 million settlement with the London Police Services Board, avoiding a court hearing before the Ontario Civilian Police Commission on Monday.
Councillor Mo Salih took a veiled shot at City staff while speaking in favour of the deal, saying he’s not happy the dispute went this far.
“I’m just really extremely, extremely, extremely not happy that we got to this point, and I will never stand here again to have to reiterate and be in a position where we’re back at a point like this that could have been avoided,” said Salih.
The money will go towards hiring six new officers, but because it’s less than the $4.1 million police were hoping for, the new hires won’t happen until next year.
“I have to say, I’m not totally convinced these positions are necessary,” said Councillor Jesse Helmer, who voted in favour of the deal.
“I’ve never felt, in the City of London, like we didn’t have an adequate and effective police service. I didn’t feel that way back when we were discussing the budget, I don’t feel that way now. I feel that our police service is going a great job, and that they are providing adequate and effective policing.”
With the compromise in place, London keeps it’s record of never having to go to the commission to resolve a budget issue with police.