During the heat of Winnipeg’s 2010 Civic Election campaign, Sam Katz sprung a headline- grabbing election promise to add 58 more police officers to the ranks of the Winnipeg Police Service.
Recently, when asked about the cost of the additional officers, the Mayor indicated he did not know the cost associated to the hiring of 58 additional officers. Does anyone really believe that? Would the Mayor make an election promise without costing it? Well, I suppose it’s possible – after all, it’s not his money that’s at stake.
According to the Mayor the WPS will hire an additional 32 officers in 2011 and a further 26 officers in 2012.
For the benefit of the Mayor, and members of the public who have an interest in how the Mayor is spending our tax dollars, I did a quick ‘back of the napkin’ calculation and came up with the following estimate.
The additional expenditure in 2011 will be just over 750,000 dollars for the first 32 officers. In 2012 when the remaining 26 positions are filled the cost will jump to 2.8* million. Five years from now when these officers achieve the 100% pay rate for constables the bill for these 58 positions will total 5.2 million. And that figure of 5.2 million comes with a proviso: the numbers quoted here are based on the current pay schedule. If, for example, salaries were to increase, say, 3% per annum for the next 5 years, that number would jump from 5.2 million to 5.8 million.
Now Your Worship, we all know what your election promise will cost us.
*calculations are based on a starting salary of $43,000.00, plus 15% for benefits, and a onetime cost of $2000.00 (per position) to equip new recruits. Figures quoted do not include the cost of additional vehicles, fuel or other additional costs that will be incurred by the Service as its complement expands.