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Ottawa Police Services Board approves draft 2024 budget with $13.4M increase

The Ottawa Police Service headquarters on Elgin Street. (Leah Larocque/CTV News Ottawa) The Ottawa Police Service headquarters on Elgin Street. (Leah Larocque/CTV News Ottawa)
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The Ottawa Police Services Board has approved its 2024 draft budget, which includes a $13.4 million increase in funding over last year.

The Ottawa Police Service looks to have a net operating budget of $372.4 million, according to documents prepared for the board. Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs said the service must find around $2 million in savings over the next year to keep the budget balanced.

The police service budget was kept within a 2.5 per cent tax increase, as determined by the budget directions.

The draft budget was carried unanimously at a meeting Monday afternoon.

Stubbs told reporters in a media availability Monday before the Ottawa Police Services Board meeting that the police service would likely need a higher tax increase to keep up with hiring in future years. The police service has a three-year staffing plan that involves the hiring of more than 550 new employees, including 435 sworn members and 120 civilian members.

Stubbs said the hiring in the first year can be done within the budget constraints, but the second and third years would be more expensive.

"We would be needing more of a percentage increase than this year to meet the goals of that three-year plan," he said. "When it comes to executing on that three-year plan, in year two of that plan, we would not be able to make 2.5 (per cent)."

Stubbs declined to comment on how much more police would require above a 2.5 per cent increase, saying he wanted to get through this budget first.

As part of the draft budget process, the police services board also approved a plan to have Stubbs direct a $4.8-million fleet replacement program and a $1.33-million plan to acquire conducted energy weapons (Tasers).

The city of Ottawa's $5.8-billion budget for 2024 will be finalized at city council on Dec. 6.

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