Article by Bill Glisky, Inquinte
While Belleville will not be home to any of the new legal cannabis stores opening in Ontario, the local police will be receiving a financial boost from the fact stores are open.
Belleville city council agreed Tuesday to funnel $131,500 in Cannabis Implementation Funding the province is providing the city to deal with cannabis issues directly to the police service.
The move enables the BPS to bring in a budget with only a 2.62 per cent increase, despite the fact it includes significant training costs to deal with cannabis issues and moving costs associated with a new building.
The police service board had sent back the original budget, which had a 5.9 per cent increase. That was whittled down to 3.38 per cent prior to the additional funding.
Police Chief Ron Gignac noted about 90 per cent of the budget is salaries, benefits and other set costs. On top of that, the force is subject to regularly increasing training costs, including cannabis training, as well as overtime to cover those receiving training.