‘Operational’ challenges from NPD could affect city books
January 6, 2023 By Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Jan. 6, 2023, Nelson, B.C. – The city’s police department has been beset with some ‘operational’ challenges and it could cause some financial hardship for the city down the road.
According to the City of Nelson’s 2022 third quarter report the Protective Services (Nelson Police Department) expenses are trending higher than in 2021, but the full impact is likely not apparent right now, said city chief financial officer Chris Jury in his quarterly report.
“Police have had some operational challenges this year, with several officers off injured or unavailable for duty,” he said. “This has led to an increase in overtime and associated costs.”
In October, three officers from the Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) were brought in to offer relief for two months with the NPD, resulting in a loss of revenue that normally covers those wages.
While some additional budget was added in 2022 to cover one-time additional costs (funded through COVID relief), it was expected that by year end expenses will be over budget.
Those costs are normally funded through the RCMP, said Jury, and at the end of the year the financial effect will be more apparent.
“So, even though the labour may look like it would have been last year, the difference is on the revenue side we won’t be seeing that offset of them funding those officers for two months,” he said. “All officers have returned to the unit, however, as things normalize and are looking brighter.”
Other challenges have beset the department. In July it was announced that an internal request for an investigation of eight present and former Nelson police officers was underway, the provincial Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner confirmed.
OPCC deputy police complaint commissioner Andrea Spindler said in an email response that the investigation was related to “potential misconduct under the Police Act related to participation in a WhatsApp chat group, and the sharing of inappropriate content and messages including alleged racist comments.”
No officers were suspended during the investigation.
– The Nelson Daily
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