Municipal spending in Halton totals $2.03 billion and police spending is $170.6 million. Policing represents about 8.4 percent of total municipal spending. We spend more than $330 million on firefighters, paramedics, libraries, and public housing combined, which is 16.3 percent of our spending, or almost twice what we spend on policing.
Halton’s Police Service is founded upon and operates by the Peelian Principles of Community Policing. Our police service is the leader in Canada in its devotion to the Peelian Principles. The Peelian Principles focus on community development and prevention rather than reaction to social problems. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_principles
In aid of community building, for more than seven years we have held police spending increases to only what is needed for the costs of growth and inflation while we on Halton Regional Council have been adding resources to community well-being by creating and growing every year the Halton Community Investment Fund. Last year, we increased its funding for this year by 10 percent. Now, HCIF spending is guided by our ground-breaking Halton Region Community Safety and Well-Being Plan.
Three years ago we spent more than a year on extensive public consultation to create our Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. Halton is the only large municipality in Canada with a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan. Others now are using our Plan as a model for their own efforts to create one.
Throughout this time, Halton Region has been renowned as the safest of Canada’s large municipalities, with the highest crime solution rate and the lowest policing cost per capita.
We spend $284 per capita for policing, the lowest of the Big 12 police services in Ontario. Looking at the US, and using Canadian dollars, New York City spends almost C$1,000 and Baltimore, which is the size of Halton, spends more than $1,100 per person, compared to our $284.
The HRPS budget is created each year with extensive public participation, and I welcome your participation when we begin that work later this year. Every year, we work hard to keep within growth and inflation as we meet the need to provide protection against domestic abuse, internet child exploitation, human trafficking, guns and gangs, drug dealing, and keep responsive to the demands of residents who also want much higher levels of policing against speeding and break-ins.
We also afford the best police training available in the world for the young women and men we attract and recruit to HRPS. We believe this expense is fundamental for the way they provide such exemplary service to their community. As an example, as part of a recent, on-going gang dispute, in the middle of Cornwall Road, an individual from Montreal here to commit a targeted murder shot and killed an individual who was also from out of town and ran off. One of our new young officers caught sight of the man running away and ran after and cornered and apprehended the suspect without having to shoot her firearm.
Please keep well, and stay safe.
Chair, Halton Police Board