By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — The chief of the Winnipeg Police Service says he may have to cut staff due to a budget shortfall.
Chief Danny Smyth made the comments only days after saying his officers have been hard-pressed to deal with a spike in violence and property crimes.
On Friday, he announced that he was redeploying some officers to frontline units to deal with a high number of recent homicides.
The possible staff cuts are to include 25 cadets and seven police officers next year, 10 police in 2021 and seven police in 2022.
Smyth says he was told by the city administration to keep growth of the police budget at two per cent.
He says that is going to be a challenge because the city negotiated a five-year contract that included 2.5 per cent increases.
“I’m having a hard time reconciling the good work that is being done in the community by our frontline members and the budget stuff,” Smyth said Tuesday. “It is causing me some concern.”
There have been 40 homicides in Winnipeg so far this year — one fewer than the 2011 record. Eleven of those occurred in the last 30 days. (CTV Winnipeg)