The provincial director of police services has responded to the Nelson Police Board on the question of whether city council was wrong to refuse the Nelson Police Department’s 2015 budget request last fall. But the report’s contents are confidential.
According to Mayor Deb Kozak, who is the chair of the Police Board which oversees the city-funded Nelson Police Department, the director sent his report to both to city council and to the board.
About a year ago, the police department asked the city for a $311,000 increase to cover the cost of two additional officers and an administrator, and the city declined the request. The police board then appealed to the provincial director of police services, who has the power to investigate and declare the minimum number of officers required in Nelson.
Kozak says the newly received report contains recommendations and a request that both bodies respond by November 17. She said the police board met on Tuesday in a closed session to discuss the recommendations and city council will be doing the same soon.
The director of police services has the power to make a decision or investigate further, and it appears that he is consulting with city council and the police board before deciding.
It has taken a full year to get this far with the 2015 budget, and the November 30 legislated deadline for the police to present their 2016 provisional budget to council is fast approaching.
The members of the Nelson Police Board are Barb Henry, Bill Reid, Hilda Taylor, Robert Goertz, Roger Higgins, and Mayor Deb Kozak as the chair. The police department is funded by the city, and its officers and other staff are city employees. Policing makes up 22 per cent of the city’s budget. Nelson is one of 11 cities in BC that employ their own police force.