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Expanded taser and opioid crisis programming headline Ottawa police draft budget

"We asked [Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau] to bring us the real numbers that we need to see in this budget to keep our community safe. This budget does that," said Ottawa Police Services Board Chair Diane Deans. 
2018-12-12 ottawa police headquartersmv5
Ottawa Police Service headquarters. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters

The Ottawa Police Service has tabled its 2019 Draft Operating and Capital Budget with the Ottawa Police Services Board.

The budget was developed to address Ottawa's growing policing needs, stabilize staffing issues and address key policing issues in community policing, traffic enforcement, violence against women and gun violence suppression.

Listen to Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau talking about this year's draft budget on 1310 NEWS' The Rick Gibbons Show:

Other important priorities included in this budget are the continued expansion of Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWs), funding for the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Program, the ongoing response to the opioid crisis, outreach recruitment and a new radio system.

"When we started this process, we asked [Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau] to bring us the real numbers that we need to see in this budget to keep our community safe. This budget does that," said Ottawa Police Services Board Chair Diane Deans. 

"But I believe we can still sharpen our pencils and further mitigate the impact on taxpayers," she added. "[Wednesday] morning I directed the chief to bring back a budget options list, that excludes any impact on frontline police services, to our Finance and Audit Committee meeting on February 20. This would ensure the service achieves the sworn officer increases it requires and can maintain its commitment to enhancing community policing."

The OPS gun violence suppression strategy saw an increase in staff in 2018 of 10 new officers. A further funding announcement is expected from the provincial government this year.

"The context in which we police continues to change. We are seeing an increase in violent crime and gun violence as demands for service from residents is increasing with population growth," said Bordeleau. "This budget ensures the Ottawa Police Service can continue to provide the service residents expect and need. It also ensures we have the capacity to address neighbourhood-based crime and social disorder trends and that we are operationally ready to respond to emergency situations and events."

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