Toronto Police to take up to $100-million of G20 security funds

(TheGlobeandMail)   Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair says his police force will administer between $50-million and $100-million of the federal funds allotted for G20 security.

Colin Freeze

Globe and Mail UpdatePublished on Thursday, May. 27, 2010 7:19PM EDTLast updated on Friday, May. 28, 2010 8:01AM EDT

This amount could represent as much as 10 per cent of the $930-million earmarked in security costs for the G8 and G20 events.

“We did not see this as a windfall opportunity,” Chief Blair told reporters Thursday evening.

He said that his service has made every effort to contain costs and pointed out Toronto Police got no top-up from municipal ratepayers for the summit.

That’s where the feds come in.

The biggest cost, Chief Blair said, is staffing. A “great deal of manpower” is required for security, he said, “between $50 and $100-million of staffing costs related to the Toronto Police Service and our municipal partners,” he said.

Most of the city’s 5,000 uniformed officers are expected to work during the G20 weekend next month. The Toronto Police Service has also signed “memorandums of understanding” to bring in reinforcements from other forces.

Gear will be some expense, but Chief Blair said Toronto Police did its best to be thrifty under a dollar-for-dollar federal program to furnish police with equipment for the G20 that can be kept after the summit.

For example, Toronto police procured four sonic devices known as Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) that use noise to blare messages and disperse crowds. Disputing the devices were sound cannons, Chief Blair said LRADs have already been used to execute a search warrant. Police will keep the LRADs for the foreseeable future.

Costs for police devices that are to be used solely for G20 are to be absorbed by the federal government.

The RCMP, which plans to dispatch up to 10,000 Mounties to Huntsville, Ont., and Toronto for the summits is to get the lion’s share of the federal funding, over $400-million.

On top of that, Public Safety Canada is to disburse more than $200-million to municipal and provincial agencies who will be joining the security dragnet, including Toronto Police.

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