Belleville Police Services: board & budget

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| Published , updated April 23, 2024

The Belleville Police Services Board is a city board and civilian board that governs the Belleville Police Service. Under the Police Services Act, the Board is responsible for providing adequate and effective police services to the citizens of the City of Belleville.

The Board provides direction and guidance to the Belleville Police Service while ensuring that adequate and effective police services are provided in accordance with the needs of the municipality.

Members

The Belleville Police Services Board has 5 members:

  • 2 Council appointees, including head of council
    • Mayor Neil Ellis
    • Chair Tyler Allsopp
  • 1 member of the community appointed by Council
  • 2 Provincial appointees by the Lieutenant Governor in Council
    • Heather Smith – Retired in 2018 as a fundraiser professional to advance the development of University Hospitals in Kingston, Belleville general Hospital, YMCA of Central East Ontario and Ontario Lung Association. She retired as the Executive Director of Belleville General Hospital Foundation. Heather volunteered with many community organizations, including the Quinte Arts Council, Inn from the Cold, Loyalist College Fund Development Advisory Committee and Public Relations Advisory Committee, and RKY Camp in Parham, Ontario.
    • Janet Harnden – Formerly self-employed Pinnacle Music Studios

Qualifications

Appointees to Police Services Boards should be active members of their community with a general knowledge of Police Services Boards duties and responsibilities and awareness of community safety issues and programs within their local community.

Responsibilities

  • Appoint the members of the municipal police force 
  • Generally determine, after consultation with the chief of police, objectives and priorities with respect to police services in the municipality 
  • Establish policies for the effective management of the police force 
  • Recruit and appoint the chief of police and any deputy chief of police, and annually determine their remuneration and working conditions, taking their submissions into account 
  • Direct the chief of police and monitor his or her performance 
  • Establish policies respecting the disclosure by chiefs of police of personal information about individuals 
  • Receive regular reports from the chief of police on disclosures and decisions made under section 49 (secondary activities) 
  • Establish guidelines with respect to the indemnification of members of the police force for legal costs under section 50 
  • Establish guidelines for dealing with complaints made under Part V 
  • Review the chief of police’s administration of the complaints system under Part V and receive regular reports from the chief of police on his or her administration of the complaints system 
Section 31 of the Police Services Act

Budget

To determine the police budget, the Police Services Board creates operating and capital estimates to maintain an adequate number of police officers or other employees or adequate equipment or facilities. Municipal council then reviews them, and can accept or decline the overall amount, and cannot approve or disapprove specific items.

Estimates

(1) The board shall submit operating and capital estimates to the municipal council that will show, separately, the amounts that will be required,

(a)  to maintain the police force and provide it with equipment and facilities; and

(b)  to pay the expenses of the board’s operation other than the remuneration of board members.

(2) The format of the estimates, the period that they cover and the timetable for their submission shall be as determined by the council.

Budget

(3) Upon reviewing the estimates, the council shall establish an overall budget for the board for the purposes described in clauses (1) (a) and (b) and, in doing so, the council is not bound to adopt the estimates submitted by the board.

(4) In establishing an overall budget for the board, the council does not have the authority to approve or disapprove specific items in the estimates.

Commission hearing in case of dispute

(5) If the board is not satisfied that the budget established for it by the council is sufficient to maintain an adequate number of police officers or other employees of the police force or to provide the police force with adequate equipment or facilities, the board may request that the Commission determine the question and the Commission, shall, after a hearing, do so.  1997, c. 8, s. 26.

Section 39 of the Police Services Act

Salary levels are set by negotiation and are beyond the power of the chief or board to change, if council wants the police budget lowered, it needs to provide leadership on where those cuts come from, namely reduced levels or service, reduced civilian or police staff or fewer other initiatives provided by the service such as the Kids Zone or the like.

The Intelligencer, 2013

Timeline

February 27, 2024 – 2024 Operating Budget presentation regarding 10.87% police budget increase

In consideration of this budget the Belleville Police Service Board took a substantial amount of time to make sure that we were balancing both the needs of the community, the concerns of taxpayers, and also making sure that our force had the ability to meet the challenges that we’re facing. Challenges from inflation, to [the] increase in our unhoused community, to the ongoing opiate crisis, and soaring call volumes.

What we see before us today is a budget that balances those needs and makes sure that we’re delivering the services to our community that they need and keeping our community safe.

You will see that we are looking for a substantial increase this year of 10.87%, which represents one of the largest hiring increases in over a decade to make sure that we have the frontline capacity to handle all these challenges.

Councillor Tyler Allsop on behalf of the Belleville Police Services Board

Police Chief Mike Callaghan says desperate need for more front-line officers, pointing to the overdose and addictions emergency

Callaghan says there are too many shifts short-staffed and the stress of dealing with drug overdose and addiction issues every day is hurting frontline officers.

We can no longer place these kinds of demands on our members without psychologically breaking them.  I’m going to repeat that again.  We can no longer place these kinds of demands on our members without psychologically breaking them and it’s going to happen.

Chief Mike Callaghan to Quinte News

Full statement:

Before I start, Mr. Mayor, I have to turn around and thank the business community the community at large and our members of the Belleville Police Service for attending today. It just shows the emphasis and the importance of the approval of this budget, and as the Chief of Police I appreciate your support, so thank you very much.

Mr. Mayor and council members, on behalf of our entire service instead of talking about facts and figures for my portion of the presentation today, I’m going to talk to you about our budget and its human impact, and the deputy will have some facts and figures to provide you, but it’s a conversation about our budget goals.

We’re living in unprecedented times, and who could have predicted that we would see our community afflicted with such acute mental health and addictions. It is truly a societal challenge that we need to overcome together.

I think it’s fair to say that we have all faced mental health challenges, personally, or with family, and friends. Our members experienced those challenges every shift, and it makes them feel like the mental health and addiction challenges is Groundhog Day every shift.

Our women and men on the front line are facing compassion fatigue and mental health stressors like I have never seen in 39 years of policing. It is is so unique and it is such a changing environment, and it is evolving every single day.

It was a campaign promise by the mayor to increase the staffing levels of our emergency services and he has been a man of his word and kept his promise. As you have seen, the majority of the increase in our budget is for the sworn officers on our front line, which has not been done in almost 15 years.

For many years Councillor Thompson has repeatedly asked me what I am doing to support the mental health of our frontline officers. Increasing those numbers will go a long way to ensure that they get the time off, breaks, lunches, and time to decompress.

One of the things that keeps me up at night is the fact that there are some shifts when we only have five to six officers out in the street. That is not a sustainable funding model. We we just can’t do that. When we end up having an individual who is suffering from acute mental health or addictions, and we’re off at the hospital, we’re now down to possibly three officers across the city, we can’t do that. Our business owners and our community is expecting more from all of us.

With an increase of over 5,000 calls in only two years there is a human toll to our membership, with the current staffing numbers that we have, we just can’t keep this up. We can no longer place these kinds of demands on our members without psychologically breaking them.

I’m going to repeat that again: we can no longer place these kinds of demands on our members without psychologically breaking them, and it’s going to happen.

We are currently at a 95% reactive, and 5% proactive policing model. That is not the policing model that you want to have in your community, but with that increase of 5,000 calls in only two years, there is only so many officers, and so many members that we can put out at any given time.

I would like to play a short video for you to allow you to walk in the shoes of Sergeant Brad Stitt on the 18th of September 2023. You were about to see a scenario as recorded by the body warn camera of Sergeant Stitt who had come in to work on an overtime shift because we were so short that evening.

Sergeant Stitt arrives at a homicide scene where the two suspects who have just murdered a member of our community are still at large in the area. Sergeant Stitt arrives on scene at 3:25 a.m. and receives information that two armed suspects have just run down a dimly lit laneway.

As there are no other officers available, he’s forced to do this search by himself. While I recognize that none of you are police officers, I would ask you if you would have had the intestinal fortitude to go down that poorly lit laneway into an ambush situation like he did to ensure that nobody else was going to be injured.

Video here

Police Chief Mike Callaghan

February 27, 2024 – Responses in the Phase 2: 2024 Operating Budget Survey regarding policing costs and levels of service

When asked how well the 2024 operating budget aligned with the budgetary guidelines established, one of three bullet points summarizing the responses was:

An improved service level within Police Services is desired without increased costs/Policing budget should be reduced.

When asked are you generally satisfied with the new initiatives outlined in the operating budget issues? Around half of respondents said no and one of the four summaries stated:

An improved service level within Police Services is desired without increased costs/Policing budget should be reduced.

When asked are there any specific topics surrounding the City’s operating budget and process that you wish you had more information and background on? One of five bullet points summarizing responses asked for: Additional information regarding Policing levels of service.

February 26, 2024 – Councillor Carr asks for a staff report outlining the options and process involved for the city to conduct a “value for money” review of policing in Belleville

I’d like to request a staff report outlining options and process for the city to conduct a value for money review for policing in the City of Belleville and that such a review be consider the efficiency and effectiveness of how public funds are being utilized and that such a review include the following objectives:

  • Cost effectiveness of operations compared to other municipalities including those under contractual arrangements and outlining costs per property.
  • Service quality including response times in all tax areas, crime prevention measures and community engagement efforts.
  • Resource allocation including efficient use of resources, scale of procurement as well as operating and capital expenditures.
  • Performance indicators such as crime rate, clearance rates and citizen satisfaction
  • Community impact including perceptions of safety and overall wellbeing of residents
  • Innovation and best practices being adopted to improve efficiency and effectiveness
Councillor Paul Carr

December 5, 2023 – Responses in the Phase 1: 2024 Operating Budget Survey: should the police budget be increased or decreased?

In response to the 2024 Operating Budget survey, policing received a mixed response, with some acknowledging the need for enhanced police presence, particularly in the downtown area, while others expressed discontent with the proportion of tax levy relative to services provided, especially when compared to neighboring municipalities.

From the around 700 survey respondents:

Responses for reducing/reallocation:

  • Protective Services x 6
  • Policing x 8
  • Decrease our bloated police budget and allocate more funds to social services, which will likely do more to reduce crime anyway
  • Protective services..recreation & cultural..both could lose money money needs to stop going to waste
  • Police budget must be brought under control and reallocated to health and social services.
  • Reduce Protective Services, reallocate to Health Services
  • Reduce fire and police spending. reduce social and family services.
  • Some police funding , and responsibilities, should be transferred to health services.
  • What police funding, if any, could be reallocated to mental health, addictions, and social work? How much policing resources are taken up to meet mental health and addiction needs in the city. Perhaps increasing support in those areas will help alleviate the pressure on policing services?
  • Reduce police & fire payroll
  • Look at fire and police…barely see either and they are almost 40% of budget
  • Some police funding should be moved to social services. The police are not the right people to be mainly dealing with the homeless problem
  • Protective Servies… surely there are savings to be had by reducing the number of officers and hiring ‘community workers’…
  • Protective services, fire and police are paid too much and cost too much. Recreation seems like it could be cut back. In general municipal taxes are getting too high. The LOS is higher than it needs to be for many departments.
  • Police budget. Given the amount of budget they consume, as a citizen I do not feel like it is a good return of our investment. Crime is rampant in the city and the police regularly display apathy. Instead of throwing more money at then, perhaps a change in their management and policies are in order. If a business were run in such a manner it would be shuttered.
  • Protective services is inflated, shift some to health services.
  • Police Services – reduce senior mgmt and increase officers on the street.
  • reduce protective services at least to 25% of total budget or bit more and allocate to Health care human resources.
  • I don’t know why we haven’t built a regional police force because Belleville is paying $38 million when Quincy West is only paying like 10 or 15 million
  • Protective services – police and firefighters are paid way too much.
  • Do we need as many police officers as we have in Belleville? Can more be done for the Homeless?
  • Police and fire services. Very bloated
  • Policing it doesn’t seem to matter how much money is thrown at it, it doesn’t seem to improving
  • Police protective services
  • The entire police budget is being spent recklessly instead of focusing on social housing and mental health services. It’s a sad world we live in that we fear each other more than we want to help.
  • Protective services get paid to much.
  • Reduce protective services and increase health or social services
  • protective services
  • Reduce police budget by 80% and reallocate to social services
  • Too much money out in policing for the lack of tackling downtown homeless problems. More into social housing and doctor recruitment
  • Protective services, Specifically Police
  • Critical examination of protective services budget – can probably be reduced
  • please look at diverting policing $ into prevention (such as social assistance program, sub housing, anything to prevent or assist with homelessness)
  • Protective Services seem to be extra high percentage (32%) of the budget compared to the average of the rest of the province (22%).
  • Police budgets are out of control
  • Reduce or reallocate policing budget to emergency medical services or community wellness infrastructure
  • Decrease police budgets and general admin costs
  • Police dept is adding staff and the fire dept is planning to add many staff costing millions more per year. Where are the studies to justify this need?
  • Reduce police budget and increase planning and economic development. Severe lack of economic development in this city. Transit seems expensive for the little services taxpayers in the city recieve.
  • Less money to policing as it has been proven it doesn’t matter how much is allocated for city safety still has not improved in the 20 years I’ve been here

Responses for increasing/allocation of the police budget:

  • Policing x 21
  • Protective Services x 7
  • Not even going to start on lack of policing, and road maintenance
  • Belleville Police Service needs more staffing and availability when needed
  • Increase taxes for more for Healthcare service (can’t find doctor/psychiatrist, also have trouble finding a vet as well). Afterwards, could use a bit more for police.
  • Police Services – reduce senior mgmt and increase officers on the street.
  • Police and road maintence sre hopelessly inadequate in Belleville.
  • Mental health/policing services for our increasing homeless situation.
  • Police and fire department
  • Police and health care
  • Rural policing
  • More police presence
  • Increase Police Funding
  • cops in cruisers patrolling at night

September 2013 – Belleville council voted 5-4 to not ask for an OPP cost study of policing of Belleville by OPP

Moved by Councillor Denyes

Despite loud outbursts of applause from the large audience in support of Chief Cory McMullan and the local force:

For

The silent majority is not here … and I don’t think that matters. The police chief had her chance to present her position; council must now give the OPP a chance and try to get the best value for our taxpayers’ dollars.

Councillor Jackie Denyes

Mayor Neil Ellis said he had discussed a regional force with his fellow mayors in Quinte West and Prince Edward County but their position was they weren’t interested unless it was with the OPP.

“Once we build [the new $20M police station], it’s too late to turn back.”

“We need more information on police systems and costs”

Mayor Neil Ellis

Councillor Taso Christopher said he supported the OPP study mainly because it opened up opportunities to work toward a Quinte regional police force which he felt was more important than whether such a force would be OPP or local.

Councillor Tom Lafferty said he originally supported the city force, but changed his mind to obtain full information from both possibilities.

Against

Councillor Pat Culhane, Councillor Garnet Thompson and Councillor Jodie Jenkins were succinct in expressing full support for the local force and saw no need to force costs and tensions on city staff and citizens for a study.

Councillor Jack Miller, who reviewed the data he collected first hand from other municipalities and other documents showing OPP officers will soon become the highest paid in Ontario; some communities had opted for studies turned down the OPP because of high costs and the Ontario auditor general had been critical of lack of cost effectiveness of the OPP.

Councillor Boyce

October 2020 – $26.3M police headquarters at 459 Sidney Street opens

Budget compared to other municipalities, provincial averages

[Coming soon]

  • Budget as a % of the municipal budget, compared to the rest of the province?
  • Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures the volume and severity of police-reported crime vs comparator municipalities
  • Police-reported crime rate, which measures the volume of crime relative to the population size vs comparator municipalities
  • Forensic Identification Officers – City of Belleville has 3 Forensic Identification Officers. Surrounding OPP area has 3 Forensic Identification Officers that travel in a large geographic area. Efficiencies? Dispatchers? Officers?

Neighbouring municipalities policed by OPP

Methods of providing municipal police services

The council may enter into an agreement under section 10, alone or jointly with one or more other councils, to have police services provided by the Ontario Provincial Police.

Section 5 (1) 5. of the Police Services Act

In 2020, the OPP provided municipal policing services to 327, or 74%, of Ontario’s municipalities, and is responsible for patrolling over 1 million square kilometres across the province, from remote northern and First Nation communities to rural and urban centres.

The OPP’s operating expenditures totalled more than $1.2 billion in the 2020/21 fiscal year, an increase of 26% since our last audit in
2011/12. Salaries and benefits costs represented 88% of these expenditures.

The OPP’s efforts to monitor and measure the quality and effectiveness of the police services it provides is limited. In addition, the OPP does not use performance indicators with targets to measure its effectiveness.

Value-for-Money Audit: Ontario Provincial Police – Auditor General of Ontario (2021)

Quinte West

Quinte West has a similar population to Belleville’s but has a much smaller urban population and a much smaller commercial-industrial sector. It is under contract with the OPP to provide policing and that will cost just under $9.5 million in 2024.

John Spitters, Quinte News

Napanee

The Town of Napanee and four neighbouring municipalities were amalgamated by a restructuring order of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing dated January 7, 1997. The order took effect on January 1, 1998. At the time of the order, Towns were responsible for policing, but Townships received OPP policing for free.

Napanee had at one time maintained it’s own force, but at the time of amalgamation contracted with and paid the OPP to provide police services. The order allowed Area Rating of Police Services in the Old Town of Napanee.

Do the neighbouring municipalities with OPP detachments have control/say over their OPP budget contribution/spend and service levels or does the OPP dictate how much they need to contribute? Is it based on population, size, etc?

What is the history of the Belleville Police Services?

The Belleville Police Service (BPS) is one of the oldest police services in Canada, pre-dating the Kingston Police (founded in 1841), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (founded in 1873) and the Ontario Provincial Police (established in 1909).

  • In 1836, the village of Belleville swore in its first 2 constables, Henry Avrill and Hiram Fulford. The village had a population of approximately 1,000 and encompassed an area of 613 acres at the mouth of the Moira River.
  • In 1878, it became a city and had 6 members for a population of over 9,500 living in an area of 1,760 acres.

History of the Belleville Police Service by Gerry Boyce prepared at the request of BPS Chief Cory McMullan

Annual reports

Meetings

Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of the Month in the City Hall Council Chamber at 10:00 a.m.

The Board must meet a minimum of 4 times per year. Meetings must be open to the public and notice must be provided in the manner that the board determines. Meetings may be closed if the board’s opinion is that all or part will involve the disclosure of matters of public security or intimate financial or personal matters, and avoiding their disclosure outweighs disclosure in the public interest.

Governance

Questions outstanding

  • What studies justify the need?

Contact information

Belleville Police Services

Sources

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