The Sarnia Police Services board rubber-stamped an operating budget last week that includes a 3.4% spending increase.
Most of the new spending will go to staff wages and benefits, said Chief Norm Hansen.
Another 1.4% of the increase is earmarked for an updated 911 emergency system, which is mandated by the province.
Salaries and benefit account for 87% of the $26-million spending package, which covers 159 full-time and 28 part-time staff, a staffing level that is unchanged, the police said.
The final year of a three-year collective agreement ended in 2019. A new contract is not yet in place.
Police had revenue of $2.59 million, up more than 5%. Even more was expected from renting out Sarnia Police’s new training centre at Lambton Mall, but due to the pandemic only one other police service used the facility, Chief Hansen told the Oct. 8 meeting.
A total of $1.3 million was directed to reserves
City council must still give final approval to the police budget.