The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is planning to hire 25 more full-time officers in 2024, according to a draft budget presented to the Ottawa Police Services Board on Wednesday.
The OPS presented its 2024 Draft Operating and Capital Budget at a special meeting of the board this morning.
OPS will also be hiring 40 new staff positions that have been vacated due to WSIB or long-term disability.
The budget will see a total of 555 sworn and civilian positions over three years, or about 185 new hires per year.
“This budget includes important investments in staffing, the development of a district policing model, more coordinated outreach strategies and follows the direction of the board on a tax levy,” said Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs.
“The budget is directly aligned to the board’s new strategic plan enhancing community safety, advancing and supporting a resilient, thriving membership, building trust through strong partnerships, and improving equity, diversity, and inclusion, while strengthening our commitment to human rights.”
The gross operating budget totals $415.5 million under the draft 2024 proposal with a net operating budget for the police service at $375.4 million.
That level represents an increase of $13.4 million over 2023, equating to an approximate $17 increase on each tax bill or $697 for the average urban household.
The funding will also go to the development of a new district policing model by adding a south division designed to “improve service to urban, suburban and rural areas of the city.”
The Ottawa City Council is expected to table its draft budget today, with council already voting to direct staff to include a maximum 2.5 per cent property tax increase, adding an average $105 to urban property taxes next year.
Last year’s city budget came in at $5.5 billion, including $4.5 billion in operating costs and $1.06 billion in capital costs.
The OPS is a shrinking portion of the overall city budget. In 2019, the OPS budget was 9.5 per cent of the city budget but is now 8.9 per cent.
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