Vancouver police want higher fees for cop services in special events

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      Update: The Vancouver Police Board chaired by Mayor Gregor Robertson at its November 26 meeting approved increases in rates charged by police officers and traffic auxiliaries for services in special events like parades starting in 2016.

      Starting next year, event organizers may have to pay more to have Vancouver police officers and traffic auxiliaries in parades, concerts, film and TV productions, and other occasions.

      The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is recommending increases in the charge out rates for officers and members of the Traffic Authority (TA).

      The suggested hike is included in the agenda Thursday (November 26) of the Vancouver police board chaired by Mayor Gregor Robertson.

      Deputy chief constable Steve Rai submitted two reports regarding the proposed increases.

      If approved, the callout rate for a constable starting January 1, 2016 will increase from the current $119.72 per hour to $122.11; sergeant, from $149.65 to $152.63; staff sergeant, 167.60 to $170.96; and inspector, $191.56 to $195.38.

      “Police deployment for third party special events is done on an overtime basis (also known as callout), as the VPD does not use on duty personnel as these events are not part of regular police duties,” Rai wrote. “Police presence at these events is done on a cost recovery basis at a standard rate that includes the overtime cost, vehicle cost, equipment, uniform, clerical support costs, and any future overtime expense that could be incurred as a result of the callout due to court or other judicial requirement.”

      Rai explained: “The current rate requires an increase that will ensure costs are fully recovered to account for higher program costs, such as uniform, vehicle and clerical support. A small provision has also been included for potential collective agreement wages increases as the VPD does not retroactively bill clients for retroactive wage changes.”

      For traffic auxiliaries, the VPD is proposing the charge out rate to increase from the current $55.11 per hour to $56.67.

      “In 2015, the VPD completed a detailed financial analysis of all costs associated with the TA program and determined that in order to fully recover the cost of the TA program, the charge out rate would need to be increased to $56.67 per hour,” Rai wrote in the report. “This accounts for higher costs for wages, benefits, training, fleet, and other program costs.”