The revised plan to get 150 tasers into the hands of front line police officers has been unanimously approved
by the Hamilton Police Services Board.
It’s the plan announced last week by Hamilton Police Chief Glenn De Caire to
pay for the tasers using money from a surplus in the OMERS pension plan.
This plan does not including the hiring of additional staff to cover training.
Councillor Lloyd Ferguson stresses that the funding source also applies only to 2014.
The Hamilton Police Association and the Senior Officers Association have both endorsed the plan.
Early indications are that Hamilton’s Police Chief will avoid a repeat of the public and political outcry that met his 2013 budget request.
Chief Glenn DeCaire’s proposed 2014 budget, which also went before the Hamilton Police Services Board on Monday afternoon, calls for a 2.98 per cent increase over 2013, which is equal to $4.18 million dollars. That’s the lowest such increase is 14 years.
If approved by the police board, the chief’s request would be sent on to council for its consideration. Councillor Terry Whitehead, a main critic of last year’s police request which started at a 5% increase, agrees the 2014 request is far more “palateable”.
The majority of the 2014 increase comes from salaries and benefits for officers, with the rest coming from equipment, supplies and services. The increase is said to be necessary to maintain the same service level. The budget proposal does not call for any new hires next year.