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Vancouver police, firefighters face overtime pressures, budget adjustments needed: city report

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Vancouver city council will meet on Tuesday to discuss several topics, including a mid-year funding boost for police and firefighters.

Overtime and other expenses are the leading cause that city staff say needs to be addressed before slipping into a deficit.

According to the report, the Vancouver Police Department would need an additional $2.47 million to cover fringe benefits adjustments and an increase of $3.6 million for overtime expenses.

The report says that the overtime costs for police are mainly due to the "deployment" for encampments on East Hastings Street and the increasing frequency of protests.

City staff also recommends that the fire department recover just under $6 million dollars to cover the fringe benefits adjustments and overtime costs.

The extra hours firefighters put in are said to be due to operational staffing requirements as staffing levels have been impacted by staff absences related to injury claims and sick leaves.

The report explains that "no contingency is set aside in the operating budget to manage these one-time pressures, and additional funding will need to be transferred from the general stabilization reserve."

The adjustment will reduce reserve funds, which would then need to be replenished through future property tax hikes. The full report can be found on the city's website. 

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