Police chief J.P. Levesque (right) speaks to the police services board Tuesday morning.
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THUNDER BAY -- While the chief of police reported no significant third-quarter variance for the force's operating budget, legal costs make the year-end budget hard to predict.
Thunder Bay Police Service Chief J.P. Levesque said at the end of the third quarter for 2012, the police service’s budget is well below one per cent negative variance.
“We’re relatively pleased at this point with the third quarter variance,” Levesque said at Tuesday morning’s police services board meeting at the Balmoral Street police station.
“We usually make a prediction at this point where we’re going to land at the end of the year,” he said. “We have a number of outstanding legal issues that we know are going to affect the variance.”
The chief said they’d like to be somewhere between one and 1.5 per cent by the end of the year, but that depends on a number of factors.
“The reality is one major occurrence can change that as well,” he added.
Board chairman Joe Virdiramo said they’ve had a tough year in legal costs and they don’t have control over the legal issues that may arise, but noted they are maintaining their own at the end of this quarter.
“We’re going to wait until the last quarter to see where the overtime and other issues are. I would presume we might be a little over. I look forward to taking a look at that and seeing what we can do in the future budgets,” Virdiramo said.
The police chief also gave the board an update on the service’s three-year business plan Tuesday. Levesque said they’ve spent this first year implementing new strategies to meet the plan’s four objectives of crime prevention, communication, engagement of the Aboriginal community and maintaining a respected workforce.
For crime prevention, Deputy Chief Andy Hay continues his role on the crime prevention council and the force was implemented initiatives like the Stop and Lock campaign, online reporting and prevention outreach.
“We continue to make strides with the Aboriginal community and despite some recent events, we feel that these relations are still good and we will continue down that road,” Levesque said.
The chief said he’s pleased with the progress of the business plan so far.
“There’s always more we can do but we will continue to work towards our goals of the business plan,” he said.
Virdiramo agreed the business plan is working well and said the board will be examining the plan in detail within the budget and will place resources where they feel are needed in order to achieve the four objectives.
“It’s always a good thing to have a plan, follow that plan, which would be a flexible plan and tinker it from time to time to meet the needs of the community,” said Virdiramo.
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