Police costs put pressure on city

Representatives from the RCMP finance section made a presentation to city council Monday.

Vernon politicians have a better sense of the cost pressures related to policing.

Representatives from the RCMP finance section  made a presentation to city council Monday.

“Policing is your biggest budget item so it impacts taxes,” said Brad Lanthier, the finance section’s senior manager.

Under the contract, Vernon pays 90 per cent of the cost for officers while the federal government picks up the remaining 10 per cent. The city also covers the entire cost of providing the office, support staff, the prison and office furniture.

When it comes to a breakdown of expenses, staffing is the largest factor.

The city currently funds 50 officers with the 36 constables receiving from $50,000 to $82,000, the seven corporals getting from $86,000 to $90,000, the four sergeants receiving $95,000 to $98,000 and the two staff sergeants receiving $103,000 to $107,000.

The range for the superintendent is $133,000 to $140,000.

The last agreement for officers’ pay ended in 2014 and the timeline for a new deal is unknown.

The 2015/16 budget included an estimated pay hike of 1.5 per cent and that could climb to 2.5 per cent in 2016/17 and subsequent years.

In terms of pensions for officers, it increased from 20.23 to 22.70 per cent in 2015/16 or $2,000 per member.