SASKATOON -- Saskatoon Police Service has received preliminary approval for a budget increase in 2021.

"We know that our staffing requirements are increasing; we know that our demands for service are increasing and we know that there is a real call in the community for us to be thoughtful about how we respond to increased calls for service,” said Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) Chief Troy Cooper.

During a meeting of the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners on Thursday, an increase of $498,000 was approved resulting in a 2021 operating budget of just above $115 million, with a net budget of over $104 million after additional revenue streams — including federal and provincial funding — are taken into account.

In a report to the board, the police service says the proposed budget reflects the impact of collective bargaining negotiations.

"This was a lean budget to begin with and we are very efficient with the money we have been given," Cooper said.

Under its new contract, SPS will transition five sergeant positions to special constable positions.

"A group of those professionals takes experience and time and so it makes the most sense for us to have someone who has done that job for a period of time with management skills to do that job," said Cooper.

The final budget will still need approval by City Council. 

--With files from CTV News Saskatoon staff