Regina city council approves new police reserve fund

Regina’s city council approved the creation of a new operating reserve called the Regina Police Service (RPS) Community Policing Initiative.

The purpose of the reserve would be to support the RPS’s community policing initiative and offset police overtime costs that many community groups and organizations would have to pay for police presence during an event.

“Part of the issue from a policing perspective is that as an event goes on, you can have security operating by the event organizers, but if there are additional calls because of what spills out over, we can’t pull folks out of patrol who are responded to 911 calls,” said Mayor Sandra Masters.

Despite not all of its funding being used, Masters believes that will change as more events happen.

“We know we are going to use a significant amount for Grey Cup,” she said. “We’ll have a look at it in terms of what we are looking into. Who are the organizations that are actually accessing it and revisit it in two to three years to see if it is too much or not enough.”

The reserve will receive $600,000 annually as part of the Regina Police Budget and a one-time transfer of $400,000 from the RPS available reserve.

The reserve would have a maximum balance of $1.5 million.

Council also discussed its cash reserves in length.

In 2021, the City saw its reserve balance increase by five percent to $209.6 million from $199.4 million.

According to the city administration, this was largely due to the operating surpluses into the general utility fund.

Currently, the City has 22 reserve funds, with six outside their ranges while 16 were within, which means it has plenty of rainy day funds.

City administration says that the reserves are projects to decrease to a combined $162.9 million at the end of this year due to planned projects approved by council in the 2022 budget.

In closing, the administration states that Regina’s reserve balance is considered reasonable overall compared to other cities.

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