It sounds like something out of a James Bond movie, but a 3D crime scene scanner is on the wish list for the Regina Police Service (RPS) for the 2018 budget year.
Police Chief Evan Bray didn’t have the exact cost of the 3D scanner available but said he expects it will pay for itself within a year or two by increasing efficiency for officers processing the scene of a crime or a crash.
He explained the device will scan a room or intersection to measure and record distances for evidence within a few minutes which could take officers five or six hours to record by hand.
“So (a) fairly significant time-saving device, the accuracy has increased, (it’s) admissible in court and really I think a positive increase for us,” Bray said.
“In terms of a situation where we might have an intersection locked down as a result of an accident (it) really allows us to clear that intersection much quicker than we would now as we’re just using police officers.”
Bray noted the police officers will still take photographs of any serious crime scene or crash site, but the device will record intricate measurements with accuracy which normally take a long time.
The overall increase to the police operating budget from the city is expected to be $2 million, bringing the total up to $78 million mainly to pay for salaries and benefits.
The collective agreement for the police service expired in December, so the budget will have to accommodate any negotiated salary increase.
“Through our budget increase this year we really did not go after increasing the actual size of our police service, we understand some of the financial challenges that are existing right now for the city of Regina,” Bray explained.
He said the increase is less than what the police force would like to get in order to hire more officers. He pointed out the population and geographic size of the city has grown at a much faster pace than the police force charged with patrolling and protecting it.
The portion of taxpayer dollars the city spends on police has remained consistent at around 18 to 20 per cent of the total.
Bray said RPS worked closely with the city manager to come up with the proposed budget. He noted one success was finding a way to move 20 officers to the front lines without having an impact on the budget.
The city budget proposal also sets aside $20 million to begin redesigning and renovating the former Saskatchewan Transportation Company bus terminal to become the new police headquarters.
The budget has been approved by the Regina Board of Police Commissions, but it still has to go before city council for final approval with the full city budget on Feb. 27.