Codiac RCMP cautions board after under-budget financial report

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Codiac RCMP will come in $1 million under budget this year if things carry on as they are, Codiac Regional Policing Authority treasurer Nagesh Jammula, says.

But Supt. Paul Beauchesne of the Codiac RCMP detachment was quick to warn the board, “you don’t know what lies around the corner.”

The two spoke at the Codiac Regional Policing Authority [CRPA] meeting on Thursday, which takes place every two months in Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview.The board discusses finances and goals set between both RCMP and board of directors.

‘The big ticket items when you look from a financial perspective is basically, your police officer.’– Supt. Paul Beauchesne

At the meeting, Beauchesne said ‘major incidents’ can send costs soaring by tens of thousands of dollars in just a few days.

“If there was a homicide investigation, or a missing persons, that takes a lot of police energy and police man power to be able to investigate those types of investigations,” said Beauchesne.

An example was the murder of 18-year-old Baylee Wylie of Moncton. His body was found by members of the Moncton Fire Department in December of 2015. Tyler Noel eventually pleaded guilty to the murder, but not before going on the run, evading police for weeks. Marissa Shephard is also accused of participating in the murder and dodged police for two months.

In overtime alone that case cost Codiac $175,000.

Codiac Regional Policing Authority

A Codiac Regional Policing Authority meeting is held every two months to discuss policing concerns and budgets within Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

Meanwhile, the final bill for costs associated with the RCMP shootings in Moncton in June, 2014 that left three RCMP officers dead and another two wounded was $9 million.

Beauchesne also explained that overtime is a cost that can be misleading in a monthly budget.

“There are some delays as far as processes in place … and there are some time lags.”

With four new full-time constables at Codiac in the last few weeks, Beauchesne says wages won’t appear as light on the budget as they did earlier in the year.

“The big ticket items when you look from a financial perspective is basically, your police officer,” said Beauchesne.

“If last year’s budget was about $30 million, I would say upwards of 80 to 90 per cent is personnel costs.”

Inevitable costs

While this year’s budget paints a rosy picture, this time last year, former CRPA treasurer Paul Van Iderstine, warned the board there were several inevitable costs for the force that must be paid in the next few years.

He listed, “the new communication system, we have the new police building and we’ve got a collective bargaining unit that we are going to have to deal with,” Van Iderstine said.

While the new communications system is in place, construction of the new headquarters has not begun, and a location has not yet been chosen. And in January of 2015 RCMP members won a long-fought battle for the right to collectively bargain with the government, but costs associated with a possible raise in wages has not yet been determined.

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