Body cam costs being considered in 2021 police budget in Sudbury
SUDBURY -- Greater Sudbury Police have released a budget overview of the projected needs in 2021 to the police board as budget deliberations get underway.
A finalized police budget for 2021 will be presented to council Jan. 19. Last year's budget was close to $63 million.
"I often say we are one of those professions that it is difficult to change service delivery," said Chief Paul Pedersen.
"We might be able to go to garage pick up second week, but we can't go to crime prevention every second week. These are the kinds of things that make policing budgets unique."
The police board heard mental-health calls have risen by 200 per cent in the past five years. The pandemic and protections against it are also adding extra costs that were unforeseen in the 2020 budget.
"The things we can expect (include) continuing supplies of PPE, personal protection items, continuing to retrofit and refit our facilities to allow for interaction through COVID," Petersen said.
The police board also heard a presentation about body cameras and the cost associated with implementing them. It ranges from $1.5 million to $2.5 million over the next five years.
"Body worn cameras is something that we support, but comes with a budgetary cost and so we wanted to give a full report to our board that alerted them to key considerations moving forward and the direction we got from them was to continue with that," said Pedersen.
The board heard salaries account for almost 90 per cent of the police budget.