Sarnia Police Chief Phil Nelson (BlackburnNews.com photo by Stephanie Chaves)

Police Chief Defends Spending

Sarnia’s police chief is backing the services spending after questions were recently raised at city council.

Phil Nelson says the service’s annual budget includes spending for salaries, benefits, overtime as well as water, hydro and maintenance at Sarnia police headquarters.

Nelson says within the budget, overtime is often difficult to keep down since you can’t predict when or how many major crime investigations will occur, including homicides.

“We haven’t had a deficit budget for over, over ten years,” says Nelson. “Over that period of time we have returned money to the city, for example, at the end of last year I believe it was around $250,000 we returned to the city, that is money which is saved on salaries of officers off on long term disability and other areas. So, at the end of the year that surplus was turned back in and actually, the city approved us using some of that money for the generator.”

In 2015 over $86,000 was returned to the city and over $465,000 in 2014.

Nelson says since 1988 the service has returned over $3.1-million to the city.