Hamilton Police Mounted Unit behind marches on the way back to Victoria Park Credit: Joey Coleman / The Public Record

Hamilton Police Board Administrator Kristen Stevenson is planning to violate the Police Services Act open meeting laws.

Stevenson announced on Monday that the Hamilton Police Services Board budget meeting scheduled for Tuesday will be closed to the public and media due to a lack of any available public meeting rooms in Hamilton.

The meeting will be held in Room 264 at Hamilton City Hall, which has a 10 seat public gallery. Stevenson’s statement states the gallery will be closed.

Section 35 of the Police Services Act requires that Police Board meetings are open to the public.

Hamilton Police and City of Hamilton security will be present at City Hall to block access to the public meeting.

This will be the first time any Police Board in Ontario holds a closed meeting to pass their budget.

Stevenson says the Police Board will provide a livestream on its website. The Board does not stream to YouTube.

The Police Board is meeting Tuesday for its first line-by-line review of the 2024 Hamilton Police service budget.

The line-by-line review was requested by Hamilton City Council in a 12-3 bvote.

Police Board members Ward 2 Councillor Cameron Kroetsch and Council civilian appointee Dr. Anjali Menezes are proposing a series of motions that, if passed, will remove approximately $5-million from the budget.

  • Ending the HPS Cable TV subscriptions: $19,600
  • Ending HPS funding of retiree events: $19,400
  • Defer a redesign of the HPS website: $100,000
  • No conduct a Community Satisfaction Survey: $60,000
  • End SurveyMonkey license: $1,900  (and look at using the City of Hamilton’s survey practices)
  • Reduce office supplies budget by $347,254.75 by set police office supplies to the same per employee spend as the City of Hamilton’s for all its employees.
  • Deferring repairs to the Mountain police station parking lot: $500,000
  • End the Mounted Unit: $914,068
  • Remove funding for ceremonial units: $37,300
  • Remove funding for two police constables in the Corporate Communications & Public Affairs section: $243,852.68
  • Remove the Advertising & Promotion (55401) budget line: $118,100
  • Defer planned 2024 hiring of 22 FTE sworn officers to consideration for 2025 budget: $740,949.60

Kroestch and Menezes will also move to use 60 percent of the police budget reserves, $2,612,630.11, to lower the 2024 tax levy for the police budget.

“Once Council sent the budget back in a vote of 12-3, Dr. Menezes and I submitted dozens of detailed questions about the 2024 budget to the Chief. He responded and provided greater clarity on individual budget line items and general expenses. In our view, there are many potential areas for savings and while we can’t direct the Chief on specific operational decisions, the budget is ultimately the Board’s responsibility. We’ve made recommendations to increase the overall fiscal accountability of the budget, which is our duty as members of the Board,” wrote Kroetsch in a statement on Monday.

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Published: February 12, 2024
Last edited: February 12, 2024
Author: Joey Coleman
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2 replies on “Hamilton Police Board To Hold Closed Meeting to Discuss Budget”

  1. The Mounted Police play a critical role in protection of Hamilton Citizens.
    The citizens need their Hamilton Mountain Police Services.

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