Nelson police have applied to city council for an increase in their budget of over a quarter of a million dollars.
Nelson police chief Donovan Fisher says this increase mainly revolves around wage increases, and predicted wage increases for the department.
“The bottom line we are asking for is $275,800,” says Fisher. “Taking into account that last year’s wages were lower than they would have been if we were fully staffed, there is a little bit of a gap that makes the increase look more than what it actually is.”
According to Fisher, the salary gap between last year and this year is roughly $120,000 and they are basically asking for it back.
“The gap was significant,” he says. “So essentially in this provisional budget we are asking for that money back, plus another $150,000”
Fisher says while the cost reflects heavily on wages and salaries there are modest costs for other departments allocated.
“We are looking at a moderate increase in operational, and training costs,” says Fisher. “We have been able to work with the city to move some funding from other areas.”
He says there is no need for funding for new officers, but they are looking ahead to increase the department.
“We are not asking for new funding for personnel,” he says. “Over 50 per cent of the officers we have now are reaching retirement age, so that is something we will have to keep in mind.”
Nelson police currently have 20 officers, including the chief and deputy, and carry a caseload of 52 calls per officer.
They currently have one of the highest caseloads per officer in the province, and the second highest call volume and charge approvals per capita in the province.