The Saskatoon Police Board of Commissioners has approved a police budget of $98,853,900 for 2020, an increase of 4.5 per cent.

A budget for 2021 was also approved that comes in around $103 million, a 4.4 per cent increase..

A report says most of the 2020 increase will go towards maintaining existing service levels and deal with the impact of changes in staff compensation and inflation.

The 2020 budget calls for an additional three officers along with five full time civilian positions including two more communications operators due to an increase in call loads.

It calls for an executive director responsible for corporate strategy and performance to oversee areas of finance, HR, IT and central records. The budget also calls for a full-time clinical psychologist on staff to tend more immediately to the mental health and wellbeing of SPS members, rather than contracting out.

A programmer analyst is in the budget to work in the IT division to help gather video evidence rather than having police officers using valuable time to do that task.

While the 2020 and 2021 budgets are being presented together to the Board of Commissioners, legislation dictates the budget will need to be passed by City Council one year at a time.

The budgets have been forwarded to City Council’s Business Planning and Budget Meeting.