Port Moody Police Department ended last year with a surplus and is now hoping to use some of that money for operational efficiencies and investigations, including the ongoing inquiry into a 2012 murder in Glenayre.
PMPD's $637,000 surplus on a roughly $9-million budget comes as Port Moody finalizes its budget for this year and although surpluses typically go into city coffers, the police are hoping to keep $283,000 for department initiatives and other costs.
Chief Const. Chris Rattenbury confirmed the surplus this week, acknowledging that it's unusual for the department to have one but came about because of vacancies that took time to fill and other issues. He said some of the funds the department was requesting would help with internal issues and boost efficiency overall.
Topping the list, according to a police board report, is funding for an investigation into the murder of Joseph Markel, 32, who was shot in September 2012 outside his parents' Glenayre home. Police said at the time the victim, a longtime PoMo resident, was well known to them and his death was a targeted hit.
Rattenbury said PMPD assumed responsibility for the file from the Vancouver Police Department last year - PMPD previously contracted with VPD for murder investigations - and is seeking an undisclosed amount of money for informant payouts, cell phone/computer examination and GPS tracking and surveillance, both by its own investigators and outsourced through Vancouver or the RCMP.
Other issues for which the police need money include IT upgrades and an intelligence data management application called IBM i2 iBase, organizational development, including the revision of job description and administrative policies, support for the police board and the stocking up of ammunitions for training.
Rattenbury explained the IT and operational needs are part of ongoing efforts to increase the effectiveness of the department while the ammunition is needed because prices are constantly rising and money spent now, when it's cheaper, would save money later.
"We are always asking ourselves is there a more financially efficient way of doing things," he said.