Halifax police board approves budget that includes body-cam project co-ordinator

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Halifax's police commission has endorsed a proposed 2021-22 budget for the regional force that would increase spending by three per cent above the current fiscal year's budget of $86.2 million.

Most of the increase in the $88.9-million budget would cover approved wage hikes for existing police officers, but there is $332,000 worth of new positions and services.

They include a court disposition clerk, a technician for online training and a co-ordinator for a body-cam pilot project. Halifax has not yet decided if police officers will wear body cameras, but police Chief Dan Kinsella said the co-ordinator could help the police board and regional council with their deliberations on the issue.

"This temporary resource will help develop a plan, do policy research and development, as well as community outreach," said Kinsella.

The co-ordinator would have a 12-month contract.

CBC
CBC

The proposed operating budget will go to regional council on Feb. 17. If it's rejected, it goes back to the police commission for amendments.

Police commissioners have not yet seen the capital budget for the Halifax Regional Police.

They also do not have the details of the RCMP's budget. In 2020-21, Halifax spent almost $28 million for RCMP services. Its budget depends on provincial numbers.

Halifax's CAO, Jacques Dubé, told the board that those figures have only recently become available.

"We've just gotten some indication from the province as to what the percentage increase will be," he said. "That means that we will have to have another special meeting of the board fairly quickly."

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