by: dan kellar
On Wednesday October 18th, regional councilor Rob Deutschmann presented a motion asking council to “express its dissatisfaction and disappointment” in the “Waterloo Region Police Services Board and the Waterloo Region Police Service Chief of Police”.
The motion in response to the police board ignoring a February 2023 resolution from the regional council which asked the police to present their draft budget ahead of the budget being approved by the police board. Deutschmann says the police have ignored 3 follow up requests for engagement ahead of this year’s budget season.
Further, Deutschmann’s new motion again calls for the police to present their draft budget to the regional council before it is approved at the police board in the coming weeks.
In a response to questions posed by CKMS News regarding the police presenting their draft budget as previously requested, Cherri Greeno the director of corporate affairs for the Waterloo police indicated the police were not planning to present their draft budget ahead of time saying:
“The 2024 WRPS Operating and Capital Budget will be presented to Waterloo Regional Council on November 22, 2023.” Greeno Added “Two public engagement sessions are being held on October 26, 2023 and November 6, 2023.” The police board will be meeting on November 15th to approve the police budget.
Greeno concluded “WRPS is confident that through this enhanced and purposeful engagement with Regional Council, that we will build on our existing relationship of collaboration and trust while continuing to ensure that all people in Waterloo Region are safe and feel safe.”
At the meeting councilor Deutschmann presented his argument to have council again ask police for respectful collaboration in finalising the budget, and without any questions from other councilors, a vote was soon called.
In the end the vote failed after a 6-6 tie as councilors Deutschmann, Liggett, Wolf, James, Williams, and Huinink voted for the resolution, while Councilors Shantz, Redman, Foxton, Erb, Harris, and Craig voted against it. Councilors Salonen, Vrbanovic, Nowak, and McCabe were not present for the vote. Of the 6 “no” votes, Councilors Redman, Shantz, and Craig are all on the police services board.
Today’s episode features an interview with Waterloo Regional councilor Rob Deutschmann, discussing the motivations behind his motion including how the police ignoring the council’s previous requests for early engagement are “disrespectful” and quite disruptive to the overall budget process as it typically represents around ⅓ of the overall budget.