Cops cut fuel costs on foot

The Oak Bay police department is anticipating a slight decrease in its 2014 budget

More police on foot and bikes adds up to a lighter touch on taxpayers’ wallets next year.

The Oak Bay police department is anticipating a slight decrease in its 2014 budget, saving taxpayers $39,000.

Chief Const. Mark Fisher said he expects the 2014 budget to be $4,438,000, a decrease of just under one per cent from 2013. He attributed most of the savings to retirements and a reduction in fuel usage.

“We hired some younger members because we had some retirements in the past year and they come in at a lower cost,” Fisher said.

“We used about 200 to 300 litres less fuel because of more foot and bike patrols. Foot and bike patrol is up 30 per cent.”

The police budget has been stable, with increases of less than one per cent for each year in the last two years. Fisher also anticipates coming in one to two per cent under budget for 2013, unless a major incident occurs between now and the end of the year.

“I’m thrilled to see the bike maintenance budget up and gas down, that’s wonderful,” said Coun. Michelle Kirby. “Thanks for the savings, it helps.”