SUDBURY -- The combination of increased costs and revenue reductions has created a $500,000 shortfall in Greater Sudbury Police's 2020 budget.

Members of the police services board heard Nov. 18 the gap would have been $800,000 if not for measures such as minimizing overtime costs, eliminating the student summer employment program and delays in hiring in some areas, such as court security.

The overall budget for police in 2020 was forecast to be $62,950.756.

The biggest single unbudgeted expenses were $172,887 police spent on personal protective equipment for staff, $95,552 spent on cleaning and decontamination and $86,676 on hardware and software.

"These efforts have proved to serve the organization very well with no known COVID-19 cases within our workplace," said the report to the police board. "Revenue losses have also been incurred as a result of COVID-19 through lost income in police record checks and paid duty fees."

Police are forecasting a year-end loss of $503,708, largely due to COVID-19 expenses and lost revenue, some of which will be covered by federal funding.

"City staff have advised that these losses will be offset by funding received through the Safe Restart Agreement through the federal government as part of the overall city’s financial position resulting from COVID," the report said.

City council has directed police to try to keep their 2021 budget increase to no more than 3.9 per cent, with options to reduce it to three per cent or 2.2 per cent. Police are scheduled to present their budget forecast Jan. 19 to the city's finance committee.