Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) had an operating budget deficit of $724,192 in 2023. 

An email from MJPS said that a portion of the deficit was covered with $416,511.18 from their accumulated surplus, which now sits at $0.  

Police recommended to the board at Wednesday’s meeting that funds be transferred from the capital budget to cover the remaining deficit for 2023.  

“Our recommendation to the board would be that the board approve transferring that money - $307,680.86 from the capital budget to the 2023 operating budget, and forward that to the council for its consideration,” said Police Chief Rick Bourassa.  

The primary over expenditures that lead to the deficit included both overtime and the management and transportation of people in custody according to Bourassa.  

Part of these costs are provincial in nature but are currently being covered at the municipal level. “We incur costs for not only holding people in custody in our building, but also at provincial court. That’s clearly a provincial responsibility, however, there are not resources available, so we incur the costs,” said Bourassa.  

“We have been working with the province on getting that resolved. It’s not just us – there are other jurisdictions as well, and we’ll see what happens moving forward.” 

Bourassa said they’re looking to control overtime through better management as well as changing their shifting patterns. 

Capital budget projects that could be put off to cover the operating budget deficit are building renovations on the second floor of the police department’s building due to additional space the police have acquired across the road, as well as deferring the replacement of the elevator.  

The board forwarded the transfer to council for consideration.