HALIFAX - Halifax Regional Police are asking for a major hike in next year's policing budget, with much of the proposed 10.3 per cent increase being blamed on a salary arbitration award for officers earlier this year.
The proposed police budget, which still needs approval from both the Board of Police Commissioners and Halifax Regional Council, was presented during Monday's meeting of the board and includes an increase from the $86.6 million in this year's budget to $87.6 million next year.
Police chief Jean-Michel Blais said much of the increase is due to a salary arbitration award this past August that gave officers an annual salary increase of 2.75 per cent over the life of their five-year contract.
"That is the majority of it," Blais said, referring to the rise in police salaries. "There's also some smaller features that are part of contractual obligations on an ongoing basis that we have seen over the last several years that are increasing."
He added part of the increase as well is the proposal to hire four new civilian staff, which he said was approved in principle last year.
The proposals will be further debated and examined during the next Board of Police Commissioners meeting, scheduled for Dec. 11.