Monday, February 11, 2019

Policing expenditure increases, prevention, and Langley City’s proposed budget

Over the next little while, I will be posting about Langley City’s 2019 – 2023 Financial Plan and budget. Policing expenditures are a significant partition of our City’s budget, and this has been the case for at least a decade.

The following table shows the increase is property tax budgeted from 2009 until this year.

Year Budgeted Percent Change
2019 $29,191,145.00 7.66%
2018 $27,113,085.00 5.46%
2017 $25,710,425.00 4.73%
2016 $24,549,430.00 4.18%
2015 $23,565,270.00 3.42%
2014 $22,785,750.00 4.25%
2013 $21,856,465.00 3.03%
2012 $21,214,045.00 2.96%
2011* $20,603,182.00 3.26%
2010 $19,952,130.00 5.83%
2009 $18,852,505.00 0.00%

The next table shows the increase in policing expenditures over the same period.

Year Police Expenditures† Percentage of Budget
2019 $12,907,040.00 44.22%
2018 $12,261,750.00 45.22%
2017 $11,725,840.00 45.61%
2016 $11,023,910.00 44.90%
2015 $10,596,570.00 44.97%
2014 $10,317,425.00 45.28%
2013 $10,065,385.00 46.05%
2012 $9,589,110.00 45.20%
2011* $8,427,799.00 40.91%
2010 $8,715,645.00 43.68%
2009 $8,357,740.00 44.33%

Policing expenditures have consistently used around 45% of property tax revenue received. In fact, policing costs are proposed to increase by $0.6 million dollars this year. This investment maintains the number of police officers and does not increase the number of police officers. While we get a great value from the RCMP and our joint detachment with the Township of Langley, increasing the number of police officers would have a significant impact on our budget and property tax.

This is why it is important to invest in programs, people, and infrastructure that will reduce the number of incidents that police need to attend.

This means investing in our parks and recreation departments to ensure that young people have positive opportunities in our community, or by giving community grants to organizations that help parents in our community nurture their children and by giving community grants that help ensure that young people can receive nutritious meals, so they can succeeded at school to become productive members of society. This helps reduce police calls for service over time.

It also means investing in our parks and public spaces to get more people outside which results in more eyes and ears on the street. It also helps create a sense of ownership in our community which further helps reduce police calls for services.

Ensuring that our buildings, parks, and public spaces use Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principals is also critical.

Finally, implementing traffic calming and redesigning our roads to reduce speeding also lowers the amount of police calls needed.

Programs and projects that are focused on prevention help lower the number of police calls for service. This has a direct impact on the number of police officers required which affects the City’s bottom line and your wallet.

If you do see suspicious activity, please call the police every time.

*This is the actual, not budgeted amount.
†This does not include capital works projects.

No comments: