Police Chief: Budget freeze not possible without layoffs
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair says he can't hit the city's target of a flatlined police budget for 2013 without slashing the number of people on payroll.
The force's budget ask will go the Police Services Board Wednesday. Blair will be asking for $949.1-million for 2013. That's $21.3-million more than the $927.8 City Hall wants to give up.
Blair says if they stick to that, he'd have to freeze hiring for for another year. The Chief wants to take on 176 uniformed recruits & another 90 civilian staff in 2013.
He says without them, uniformed cops might be shuffled into jobs like court security, which or communications which they might not be trained for. Blair says that would also reduce the number of officers doing actively policing & could ultimately put the public at risk.
Chief Blair says if the city holds to its budget line, he'd also have to lay off 137 cops & 52 civilians.
Blair says that would undo much of the hard work the force has done in recent years to hire more diverse & better-educated recruits since newer hires would be the first to be pink-slipped.
Combined, Blair says a continued hiring freeze & layoffs would bring Toronto Police ranks "significantly below what is necessary to deliver effective and adequate policing".
Staffing costs like salaries & benefits account for 90% of Toronto Police's budget. But Bill Blair says savings in the other 10% are pretty much maxed out after years of cutting.