The Moose Jaw Board of Police Officers and Moose Jaw Police Service operating budget for 2024 was presented during the Thursday, November 9th board meeting. This budget is an estimate of the funding that the board and the MJPS would need to operate in the upcoming fiscal year. With a net operating budget ask of $12,690,903, this represents an operating budget increase of 10.26 per cent, or $1,181,355.
Bourassa outlined three components influencing the operating budget increase, including a one-time cost of $445,000 for software that would allow for in-car reporting, general inflationary pressures leading to an increase in various expense categories, and salary increases of $291,406 for existing police officers as they gain experience in the workforce.
Further increases include an additional $372,722 for employee benefits, $19,000 for contracting commissionaires, $3,000 for prisoner meals, and $43,000 in insurance costs.
“This budget does not include any requests for additional officers,” said Bourassa. “We have requested two additional positions from the Province – one for Internet Child Exploitation, and one for serious crimes.”
Deputy Chief Rick Johns spoke to the approximately $500,000 budget request to purchase software for in-car reporting, computer-assisted dispatch, e-ticketing, and body cameras. Johns pointed to the statistic that 25 per cent of front-line police officer time, or 2190 hours per year, is currently spent in the office.
“The implementation of in-car reporting would be a game-changer, as it significantly enhances police presence in the community. Under our current reporting capabilities, our officers have to return to the police station to complete reports,” said Johns.
He added that discussions are underway with SGI regarding a potential funding partnership for the introduction of e-ticketing and e-collision, which are additional in-car reporting features. E-ticketing would allow for scanning of driver’s licenses and decrease the average 15 minutes it currently takes to write tickets for traffic violations. E-collision would also allow officers to complete traffic accident reports in-car to be submitted to records management on the scene, rather than submitting reports via manual entry at a later time.
The $445,000 budget request for in-car reporting software is expected to be a one-time cost for the initial onboarding, with future, smaller costs for licensing and maintenance.
The 2024 operating budget request will be presented to City Council at a later date.
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