The Toronto police budget has long been the city’s single-biggest annual expense, a gargantuan bill that in recent years has gone north of $ 1 billion.
But the finer details of how that money is actually spent were only recently revealed. In August, amidst this summer’s reckoning on race and policing, Toronto police provided line-by-line details of 2020’s requested $ 1.076-billion operating budget.
The bulk of the requested budget was, of course, no surprise. The cost of policing is predominantly people — and 2020 was no exception: a whopping 89 per cent of the budget request went toward the salaries and benefits of approximately 4,930 uniform officers and 2,490 civilian staff, according to numbers submitted to the Toronto police board in the service’s 2020 budget request.
Four per cent alone went to “premium pay,” or overtime.
The new details also pulled back the curtain on how much is spent on each unit.
Ever wondered how much it costs to run the homicide unit? In 2020, the request was $ 12,699,600 — about the same as the service’s Emergency Task Force unit, at $ 12,379,700, but less than Sex Crimes, at $ 13,587,000. The police dog unit, meanwhile, was projected at $ 3,432,800, while the request for Marine Services was $ 6,320,900.
There are the mundane items, too — like breathalyzer supplies ($ 158,400), book and magazines subscriptions ($ 124,000) and stationery supplies ($ 1,517,400).
The detail has allowed the Star to compile the most detailed look yet at where each of one billion dollars are spent by Toronto police:
And here’s a representative example of spending inside a single police unit, the Toronto police homicide squad.
A quick glossary of the budget’s key terms:
Premium pay: Payout for hours worked outside of a regularly scheduled day, including attendance in court.
Paid duty: When off-duty officers are hired to provide police presence for a range of events and functions including film shoots, construction and festivals.
Civilian categories: Non-police employees are separated under the collective agreement under different categories. “B” includes drivers and mechanics while “C” includes court officers and parking enforcement officers.
OMERS: A pension fund. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.
Uniform call-back: when a police officer is asked to work on a day off, or after completing a shift. The employee is paid for a minimum of three hours if off-duty, and or four on a day off.
For a more comprehensive glossary, Toronto police released a definition for each expense in the 2020 budget.