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Hamilton police chief wants extra $7M and 20 more cops

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Hamilton police chief Glenn De Caire is asking the city for a $7.1-million increase to his budget, including to help pay for an additional 20 officers and a civilian stenographer for a special crime-fighting action squad.

A proposed budget to be presented to the police services board on Tuesday boosts the city’s contribution to $142.8 million, a jump of 5.25 per cent over last year.

The increase comes amid council’s push for a freeze on spending and is even larger than the 3.43 per cent hike last year, when departments and agencies were also asked to submit zero-increase budgets.

The new hires will add $1.6 million in spending, with the balance of the $7.1 million going toward salary, pension and benefit increases.

According to the budget document, the extra staffing will allow police to move toward a model that allows officers to spend 35 per cent of their shift proactively fighting crime, with the balance of time spent responding to calls.

It states that the extra staffing has twice been reduced from an initial plan that sought 45 more cops and 16 more civilian positions.

The budget will be presented in open session in city hall council chambers at 5 p.m. on Nov. 27.

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