As construction begins on a new west-end police station, Ottawa's top cop says the force's budget must increase by $10 million next year to keep the national capital safe.

CTV News first reported this week that the police budget increase will mean a one per cent raise in property taxes.

Chief Vern White said that although crime is down, calls for police services are way up.

Most of the increase would cover police salaries. A final vote on the city budget will be held in November.

Meanwhile, the ground has broken on Ottawa's new $18-million police station, slated to open in December 2009.

The 41,000-square-foot Kanata facility will be located on a 5.6-acre site on Huntmar Drive next to Scotiabank Place.

Ottawa police say the larger building is needed to handle the growth in population service calls from the west end. The location was chosen for its proximity to major highways and public transit.