Macdonald-Laurier Institute author Christian Leuprecht further bolstered his credentials on the cost of policing by speaking to the Toronto Star about police overtime in Toronto.

Leuprecht's MLI report on the cost of policing in Canada.

Leuprecht's MLI report on the cost of policing in Canada.

The City of Toronto is currently looking to rein in policing costs that are rising fast.

Leuprecht says that two perks for police officers are unlikely to survive the cost reductions: retention pay, which rewards officers for not quitting their jobs, and an agreement that allows officers to bank unused sick days and then converting them into a cash payout.

This, says Leuprecht, is far more realistic than expecting officers to yield to a reduction in salaries.

“Those are both items that are negotiated separately in collective agreements and that can thus be taken in or out or renegotiated, where negotiating salaries down would be a non-starter”, says Leuprecht.

He acknowledges that this will leave officers “heavily bent out of shape”, but he says that retention pay in particular only makes sense to “the people who are happy to receive it”

Leuprecht’s 2014 MLI study, titled “The Blue Line Or The Bottom Line of Police Services in Canada?”, charts the extent of the problem municipalities are facing. It also offers several potential solutions, such as shifting more policing responsibilities to contractors and civilians.