Christian Leuprecht, the author of a recently released MLI report on the rising cost of policing in Canada, spoke to the Toronto Star for a story on Toronto police officers being hired for off-duty assignments.
The Star reported that TPS officers received $26.1 million for jobs that range from traffic control on construction sites to security for community events. The story quotes Toronto city councillors who wonder why some of those services couldn't be contracted out to private security firms.
"There's a simple reason why police insist on billing for these tasks: this is all paid as overtime and police have come to 'expect' a certain amount of overtime as part of their compensation package", Leuprecht told the Star in an email. "In effect, it's a salary subsidy".
Leuprecht's study, titled the "The Blue Line or the Bottom Line of Police Services in Canada?: Arresting Runaway Policing Costs", examines how civilians or contractors could help rein in costs by taking over responsibility for tasks such as background checks and court security.