High-profile cases putting pressure on Toronto police budget

A number of high-profile homicide cases appear to be taking a toll on the Toronto Police Service’s budget.

A report, which will be presented to the Toronto Police Services Board on Thursday, suggests that reduced staffing levels and “recent high-profile cases” have been negatively impacting the police service’s close to $1-billlion budget.

“Currently, the service is projecting a $6.0M cost pressure in uniform premium pay. This pressure is mainly a result of the reduced staffing levels and recent high profile cases,” the budgetary report reads.

“The service will endeavour to reduce its premium pay spending to come closer to budget. However, it must be noted that premium pay is subject to the exigencies of policing and the aforementioned pressures as well as continued police presence required at special events will make this difficult to achieve.”

The police service is currently projecting a budget shortfall of $3.8 million but Gray said they expect to meet the approved budget by the end of the year.

“Expenditures and revenues will continue to be closely monitored throughout the year, and potential mitigating actions identified to assist the service in coming in on budget by year end,” the report read.

The report does not specifically identify the cases that have been eating up police resources but Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray confirmed that the Bruce McArthur case, the Toronto van attack homicides, and the murders of billionaires Barry and Honey Sherman are among them.

In the McArthur case, police have searched dozens of properties around the Toronto area and say they still have upwards of 100 properties left to pore over.

Forensic investigators officially turned McArthur’s Thorncliffe Park apartment back over to the property manager on Tuesday after four months of examination.

Police said more than 18,000 photographs were taken at McArthur’s apartment and more than 1,800 exhibits have been seized from the scene.

Police have called it the largest forensic examination in Toronto police history.

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