Cost of Policing

Cost of Policing went up 1% from 300.5 million in 2018 and 304.1 million in 2019The OPS recognizes the community’s expectation that an organization should deliver value for money. The net expenditures for 2019 are presented in the table below and highlight a surplus of $2.4 million. 

The $2.4 million surplus was due to budget pressures of $3.7 million offset by $6.1 million of budget solutions. The budget pressures of $3.7 million were caused by pressures in overtime, compensation costs related to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and retirements, higher fuel prices and increased vehicle maintenance expenses.  The budget solutions of $6.1 million were due to higher revenues, reduced operating expenditures on supplies, facilities and IT maintenance, a reduction in insurance claims and compensation savings related to collective agreement changes.

The non-departmental taxation accounts, which are beyond the control of the Board, were in a surplus position of $0.9 million. As a result of the above, the police tax rate was in a total surplus position of $3.3 million for 2019.

CHANGE IN EXPENDITURES, BUDGET AND ACTUAL, 2015–2019

CHANGE IN EXPENDITURES, BUDGET AND ACTUAL, 2015–2019

For more information on the OPS budget, please visit ottawapolice.ca or to access the 2019 Annual Financial Report please visit ottawapoliceboard.ca

Identified Pressures

a) Overtime

Overtime costs created a pressure of $1.7 million in 2019. The Emergency Services Unit (ESU) had a very busy 2019 that commenced with the Trail Road Dump body search followed by an enhanced presence in the Byward Market over the summer. There were two other major events in the first half of the year which resulted in pressures on this budget and those were the Westboro Station bus crash and the flood. Finally, various sections also experienced significant overtime pressures due to staffing shortages. 

b) Vehicle Maintenance

In 2017, staff initiated a one-time deferral of the planned replacement of approximately 60 fleet vehicles. This action enabled the Service to transfer $2.4 million from the Fleet Replacement Reserve to support the Operating Budget. In 2018 a further transfer of $0.6 million was approved to help finance the implementation of conducted energy weapons, resulting in a deferral of roughly 15 vehicles. The deferral plan was managed by extending the service life of these assets through the rotation of low and high mileage vehicles. The deferral of replacement caused vehicle maintenance costs to rise, creating a $0.6 million pressure in 2019.

c) WSIB

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) costs created a pressure of $0.5 million in 2019. The increase in WSIB claims is mainly a result of new presumptive legislation allowing Operational Stress Injury (OSI) claims, along with an increase in the volume of claims and lost time. Also retroactive adjustments are being processed as individuals are moved from long term disability insurance (LTDI) to WSIB.

d) Retirements

The retiree benefits finished the 2019 fiscal year with a pressure of $0.5 million. This pressure was created by many factors including rate increases, an increase in the claims volume and previous subsidies being exhausted.

e) Fuel Costs

The OPS’s 2019 fuel budget is based on a retail pump price of $0.9933/litre. After volume discounts and tax exemptions, the effective price becomes $0.8545/litre.

Economic factors, including the new carbon tax, created a significant increase in the retail price across the province during 2019.   The average retail pump price for regular unleaded gasoline at Ottawa-area self-service filling stations for 2019 was $1.15/litre.

As a result of the higher than anticipated retail pump price for this time period, there was a deficit in the fuel account of $0.4 million for 2019.

Identified Solutions

f) Various Revenue & Recovery Accounts

Various revenue and recoveries along with additional grant funding created solutions in the amount of $3.0 million. This includes $1.8 million from provincial funding to cover policing costs due to the legalization of cannabis which wasn’t budgeted for in 2019.

g) Reduced Expenditures

Savings of $2.3 million were realized from various expenditure reductions including safety supplies and facilities and IT maintenance.

h) Claims

Insurance claims and settlements concluded the year under budget and contributed to OPS’s surplus by an amount of $0.6 million.

Grant Funding Partnerships

In 2019, OPS secured more than $14.5 million through government partnership. These are outlined below.

Provincial Strategy for Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet - $445,720

Funding from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services for specialized investigative teams to investigate cases of online child-luring and identify their victims.

Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) - $51,551

Annual funding from the Ministry of Community and Correctional Services to conduct year-round RIDE spot checks and enhance measures to counter impaired driving, such as additional enforcement on roadways, waterways and trails.

MERIT Countering Violent Extremism (MERIT CVE) - $245,337

Mitigates acute harm related to CVE (countering violent extremism) by focusing holistically on several interdependent strategies within a continuum of community safety.

Provincial Electronic Surveillance Equipment Program (PESEDP) - $94,725

PESEDP funds activities directed at organized and serious crime, and initiatives focused on proceeds of crime.

Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI) - $267,470

Funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services that provides high-school students ages 15 to 18 with summer and winter employment opportunities within the Ottawa Police Service. These youth enhance police community relations while developing job skills that could lead to a career in policing.

Community Safety and Policing (CSP) - $4,612,000

Funding from the Ministry of the Solicitor General that supports the Strategy for Community Safety and Policing. Two initiatives are supported;
  • Advancing Community Policing
  • Advancing Traffic and Road Safety

Court Security Prisoner Transport (CSPT) - $4,459,510

This seven-year provincial subsidy from the Ontario Municipality Partnership Fund (OMPF) offsets municipal expenditures for providing security at provincial courts and for transporting prisoners.

Federal Support for Extraordinary Policing Costs in the Nation’s Capital - $2,000,000

Since 2010, the Federal Government has provided the City of Ottawa with compensation in the amount of $2 million a year, to cover the costs associated with providing extraordinary policing services in the nation’s capital that are not otherwise covered by a cost-recovery agreements tied to specific events.

Ontario Strategy to end Human Trafficking - $34,800

Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking, launched in 2016, aims to increase awareness and coordination, improve survivors' access to services and enhance justice-sector initiatives.

POC -  High Risk Neighbourhoods - $24,000

Focusing on proactive efforts in higher investment neighbourhoods, emphasizing collaboration.  Implantation of a program that will build capacity of community problem solving in a way that supports the first 2  Formalized Community Networks.

Department of Justice – Victims Fund Human Trafficking programs - $61,362

The Department of Justice administers the Victims Fund, which allows provinces and territories and non-governmental organizations to request funding to enhance services victims. It also provides financial assistance to victims of human trafficking in certain circumstances.

Minister of Community Safety & Correctional Services - Gun Violence Suppression Strategy - $2,220,678

Funding from Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.  Provincial funding to assist with the targeted strategy to combat an increase in gun violence in Ottawa.