Hamilton Police Chief Glen De Caire is looking for a 5.25% increase in police funding for 2013 according to this Spec article. Of course that comes off of an increase of 3% in 2011 and 5% in 2010. Those are increases that are pretty much out of whack with governments in the Western world, but De Caire doesn't seem to really care about Hamilton taxpayers money. Reading the comments on the article, interestingly no one seems to be on the side of more police funding. OK looking again there's one guy.
De Caire is asking for 20 extra officers and an extra civilian employee. This seems somewhat strange considering there is no crime epidemic in Hamilton, plus Hamilton has an aging population. I would be curious to know what the increase would be without the extra officers. Guessing around $100,000 for all in costs for the officers would be around $2 million per year. That would hire a lot of bus drivers.
This info from the article was also interesting "Last month, the mounted patrol unit became a permanent fixture within the force. The total budget for that unit for 2013 is $658,810 — up 4.08 per cent from last year." I see the horse unit downtown often and frankly nothing much seems to accomplished, especially compared with an officer unmounted just standing around. Plus the horses aren't much use in winter weather. This is one program that needs to be cut.
Considering De Caire's history of asking for budget increases, and not protecting the public purse, I've lost confidence in him. I think the Hamilton police services board needs to ask him to resign. There's far better uses for this money, whether it is lower taxes or better public transit. Hamilton police officers are quite expensive (check out the latest sunshine list for the city) and adding more officers isn't a good use of public money.