The Saskatoon Police Service wants six new officers hired for 2017.
The service is set to present its proposed budget to the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners on Thursday.
Overall, the SPS is asking for a budget increase of $3.3 million. Most of that covers fixed costs like inflation and pay raises for existing staff.
Of the proposed new hires, four constables would shore up patrols in the city’s east side. The police budget proposal cites population growth in east end communities for fuelling a rise in calls.
The police service wants two more detective constables, along with the added patrol officers.
One detective would replace an officer from the special investigations unit re-deployed to patrol back in June 2015. The special investigations unit helps other units gather intelligence, and also assists with collecting evidence from crime scenes, such as DNA.
The second detective police are asking for would be dedicated to working on cybercrime.
Along with the new officers, police will also be asking for funding to cover round-the-clock paramedic service in their holding cells. The request comes after a coroner’s inquest recommended the change after a prisoner died during daytime hours when no paramedic was present.
The service also want to hire staff to help deal with requests that may arise out of a change brought in by the province making police documents accessible under freedom of information laws.
If the recommendation put forward by police was to be approved by city council, it would bring the total property tax increase to about 4.3 per cent.
Currently, the city’s proposed budget includes a tax increase of 3.97 per cent, or around $67.55 for an average homeowner.