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Calgary police submit $40 million in city budget changes

The Calgary police budget submission shows a $40 million “adjustment” they’re proposing as the city looks budget changes beginning Monday.

In the document, made public Friday, the Calgary Police Commission (CPC) said it appreciates the city’s effort to minimize reductions to the CPS budget over the years.

“As part of the 2021 adjustment process, we are proposing a $40 million adjustment that reflects an appreciation of the significant financial hardship facing the City and its residents as well as the important work underway within CPS to respond to increases in crime and to accelerate actions to improve equity, diversity and inclusion within CPS and in its relationship with all segments of our community,” the document read.

Earlier this week, a motion by Coun. Evan Woolley asked city administration to deliver a plan for a Community Safety Investment Framework that could include up to $10 million per year for the next two years. As a part of the plan, it could include reallocating from the police budget.

“It is important that we not only make statements but take meaningful steps to respond,” said Woolley, of the city’s declaration earlier this year that there was systemic racism in its institutions.

During that debate, Coun. Jyoti Gondek, who sat on the CPC prior to a recent city reorganization, said that months of work had been done on the submission. She said the CPC and the CPS looked very seriously at how they could make budget changes.

“If they thought there was a way they could better partner with programs within community and neighborhood services, or external programs to see how their money might be allocated in a different way to support strong partnerships, that work was done over the last few months.”

Submission breakdown

 The Calgary police budget submission does include $10 million in reallocation towards exploring “alternative call models” in 2021.

It also shows a $10 million cut to eliminate 60 growth positions in 2021.

Another $20 million would be the absorption of COVID related impacts in 2020 and 2021.

“To achieve the vision of making Calgary the safest major city in Canada, CPS will continue to build community safety and well-being through education, prevention, investigation and enforcement,” the document read.

REPORT CPS Budget Adjustmen… by Darren Krause

“We remain committed to a community policing model that supports collaborative solutions to address the underlying conditions that contribute to crime and disorder.”

This cut is on top of provincial changes last year that increased the fine revenue take by the government, leaving the Calgary police short.

The cuts mean a net reduction in the Calgary police budget of $18 million, the submission read.

The CPS also said they’re also expecting an $8 million reduction in revenue in 2021.