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October 28, 2017 1:18 am

Putting our money where it counts

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 @ 3:45 AM

Prince George  is  known for a number of things some  good,  some not so good.

While those who have visited P.G. recognize  the awesome hospitality,   high level of  volunteerism,  and beautiful setting,  those who have never been  here  think of  bad air quality  and ( thanks to Maclean’s magazine) a high crime rate.

The City wants to  launch  a campaign to bring more  students  here, to make P.G. an education destination.  There will need to be  some  repairs to the  City’s image  if  that  venture is to succeed.

We already know industry has  made some  major gains  when it comes to improving air quality,  efforts that  can be thwarted when Mother Nature  delivers  the kind of  weather conditions  experienced over the past week.    But when it comes to  crime,  well,  that  hits  the bank account of each and every property owner in Prince George.   Policing costs money, and  taxpayers  foot the bill.

So  the City is  being asked to bump up the  contracted numbers of officers for the Prince George  detachment, and  increase the budget to  bring on  three more officers next year  and two more  in each of the following  two years.    The phased in approach  would  be complete about the time the current Council’s  mandate comes to a close.

It’s all about  dollars and cents.   The cost of three officers for one full year is  about $481 thousand dollars.   That is of course,  if   all three were  to land in Prince George  January 1st of 2016.  That’s not likely  to happen.

A  report to Council’s budget deliberations today  indicates  it would not be likely for all  three to be  here until  sometime around September, so the cost for 2016 would be more in the $160 thousand dollar range.  It is also estimated their  arrival would reduce  overtime costs by  about $50 thousand for  the four months.  So the bottom line  for 2016 would end up  being an added  ( approximately) $110 thousand.

Is it possible to find savings within the existing  City budget to  cover the requested police enhancement?

The City has been  saying  it will save $500 thousand dollars  by  dismantling IPG and bringing it ‘in house’.   Apparently those ‘savings’ have been transferred to the Capital  side of the budget.   There  are also the dollars the City  will now use to fund the  voluntary water meter program, making 100 water meters available for  no charge  so  more residences  can  move to  consumption rates.  The cost?  $63 thousand dollars.  Then there’s the Community Celebration grant program ($30 thousand a year) .

Police protection is a  core service in  Prince George  and  the  detachment should  be given the  resources  to do the job  we expect them to do.

The money can be found, if there is a will to make  crime reduction a priority.

The question is, what price do you  put on your personal safety?  On the safety of your family?




I think the $481 Thousand for three police officers is a little high.
I think someone is fudging the figures.

The “savings” from IPG where spent before it was dismantled.. moving the employees from IPG to city hall didnt save anything. It was all smoke and mirrors.. then add the appointment of rob van whathisname at over $150,000 a year and we are most likely in the negative.. by the way.. has anyone heard a peep from him ? He has been on the tax payers teat for 3 months..and nothing as of yet.

Now when it comes to police… we keep hearing the crime rate has dropped, the police seem to be doing fine without any added members. I also think once trudeau legalizes pot it will lighten the load big time on the cops.
As for the cost of the cops they want.. well what rank are they coming here with ? If they are rookies they dont make to much..but as they climb the ladder of course the price goes up.

“The question is, what price do you put on your personal safety? On the safety of your family?” I see this as using fear to get more cops. Sorry.. didnt work on me.

I think bringing in water meters through the back door is the first step for TPP style privatized municipal services for profit. Ask the third world how that turned out for them. PG should not be going down that road. We have ample water supplies in PG and should not be making it a commodity for privatiztion under the guise of conservation.

On the issue of additional police costs, I think it’s a bad deal. Way don’t we just buy all police officers a Rolls Royce as well. Facts are the RCMP are the top dollar choice for policing, with the best training that comes with it mind you, but do we really need officers in Rolls Royce still doing some of the mundane day to day policing?

I know of a local guy that works auxillery and has been trying to get on as a full time member for at least ten years. I guess his weight is an issue lol. He would make a great police officer though if given the chance. There are many more like him in our community that really know the community and would do it at a much more cost effective way for the city and I would argue more efficient with local knowledge and sensitivities as well.

Maybe we need to increase the roll of auxiliary policing, or maybe we need to enhance the roll of bilateral enforcement into some of the eyes and ears rolls of policing? I don’t see any cost effective options being explored for the biggest cost in the city budget. The only option seems to be more Rolls Royce high roller dolling out for policing.

Also the high number of arrests used to justify the added cost could very well just be the catch and release approach by the judiciary in PG, but has anyone looked into that. And if it’s do to the regional visitors then maybe it’s time the province stepped up with some funding… Why always the home owners expected to pay for other people’s responsibilities?

Bilateral was spell checker… Should have read bylaw enforcement officers getting a greater role.

You can hire all the cops in the world but so long as they’re stuck in their palace doing paperwork, crime is still going to be a problem.

bcracer I think the $481 Thousand for three police officers is a little high.
IF you figure in the factor that means one more patrol car plus pension E.I. benefits medical and all the other things I thing they are not that high.

We don’t need more cops, what we do need is a judge that will lock these crooks up. Watch the news, & “the suspect is known to police” They arrest the same people over & over. It seems the longer their rap sheet the less the penalty is. They get a scolding and they are back wandering the streets before the sun goes down.
When you call them they may take a while to get to you, to make you think they’re shorthanded. While you see 3 or 4 hiding in the bushes, waiting for some one to come by with their phone in hand.

They could reorganize City staff so they don’t put in a lot of overtime. Maybe give them days off when they want so they can get paid for working the events around town instead of paying them overtime for covering events

What paperwork do the police do at their palace??? From the tour given to the public, kinda looked like most is on computer, which takes less time. Even in the vehicles, they are computerized, which can be accessed at the office… During the tours, We watched three members sitting at the computers playing with their cell phones

Also, the roadblocks are paid by ICBC at overtime rates and this usually only involves off duty members

Just some suggestions on cutting costs

Also, the roadblocks are paid by ICBC at overtime rates and this usually only involves off duty members.

Isnt that stupid for a public funded insurance company to be paying for police roadblocks.. I am not paying car insurance to cover roadblocks.. there is something very wrong with ICBC.

ICBC also covers costs for improving road conditions at major traffic incident locations. Private insurance does not have such costs.

While those costs are real in that the improvements should be made, it is part of the city, provincial and/or federal road and highway system which was not designed properly in the first place.

hillbilly since judges are very well paid liberal left no surprise how they operate. If you have high blood pressure do not sit in on court cases.

Editor’s Note:
Judges have to give out sentences based on either federally legislated sentences as per the Criminal Code, or legal precedence

seamutt.. so every judge is liberal.. good to know.. better tell every lawyer who wants to be a judge to get their liberal card.. So to all criminals make sure you wear a nice red tie next time in court.. you will win every time using seamutts “mentality”

I have spent many days in court and it is shocking to what some defendants get away with… has very little to do with the judges as they can only rule on the law as it pertains to the information they are given from both sides of the case. Some lawyers are much better than others which is blatantly obvious after witnessing a few cases.

Let’s see, more police, more arrests, more trials, more prison time? No, there’s no extra prison room. Increasing the number of people entering the process will just result in what prison space available is redistributed among more inmates.

If the extra police are to be used for traffic enforcement, I’m more for it, because traffic offenses take up very little court time, and rarely result in jail time. Cops could save lives nailing impaired drivers with roadside suspensions and texting drivers.

If you’re just going to shove more humans into the bottleneck that already exists, what’s the point. You’d be better to build more jails, and instead of handing the minimum out to bad actors, give them the maximum, so that at least for a few years, the police don’t have to keep arresting them, watch them be released, then arrest them again. That can’t be much fun for the police.

P Val… yess ICBC pays for the road blocks/checks set up during christmas and other times. ICBC also helps pay for installing new lights or merge lanes as needed. It evolved like this somehow.. Same with CPP.. Now CPP pays for every thing from a person not able to work ect.. That’s probably why our seniors get less. Here we pay into it thinking its going to help our retirement, but it goes to pay for almost everything under the sun..

The theory with ICBC paying for stuff, is anything that causes accident reductions, saves them money. So, they pay $100,000 for RCMP to do road blocks, but if that prevents one fatality, they’ve saved more than they spent. The problem with ICBC, is any money they save, is fired off to the government as a dividend, to pay for other programs – so our insurance premiums, also include a portion for taxation. The idea is great in principal but in reality it’s tax shifting. Taxes should be increased to build proper roads, and fund proper law enforcement, instead of funding these programs backdoor via ICBC.

Now, the beauty of this, is it’s regressive taxation. On optional coverage, ICBC has competition, so any money for these programs has to come from the basic, which you’ll notice keeps increasing for some reason.

Basic is paid by rich and poor alike. So, if you figure 20% of the basic premium is really taxes, it means the kid flipping burgers is paying the same tax rate as the millionaire driving a BMW, because basic costs the same no matter what vehicle you drive.

Correction – costs the same no matter what kind of car you drive – motorcycles pay higher basic.

Think Ski51 nailed it down pretty good. Always gotta remember, organized crime has a ton more bucks to spend than politishuns will allow police to have. If you want low crime rates in this transient city, best pay for it.

The other aspect of this story was a highlight in news casts across the country tonight. The drop out drug house with ten thousand needles and a dozen under aged kids that are supposed to be in the ministry of children’s care, but they lost track of these kids and have no funding from the provincial government to house them properly.

Maybe someone could look into how things like children in ministry care are funded in other cities used to compare policing costs and arrest numbers, as opposed to PG. If PG is not properly funded by the province to care for our vulnerable children population, then it’s only natural the city will be picking up the transfer of responsibility and costs through policing.

Ditto for mental health finding in other communities as opposed to PG. if we are the mentally ill dumping ground for the province, then is this also not properly funded and thus a higher policing cost for PG.

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