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Per Capita Police Funding


The Edmonton Police Commission concluded its annual budgeting process and submitted its proposal to City Administration.

The Commission’s proposal was informed, in part, by several months of deliberation with the Edmonton Police Service and considered many factors affecting the cost of policing in Edmonton without being limited to the cost per capita measurement. It is anticipated that the City will publish budget material for all departments in November.

“The Commission has advanced their view in the past that per capita funding is not a reasonable or meaningful measure of effectiveness in police budgeting.”
Matthew Barker, Executive Director of the Edmonton Police Commission

There are several factors which make per capita cost comparisons misleading in understanding the value and effectiveness of police funding, including population impacts of surrounding municipalities, crime rates, crime severity and budget practices. These differences drive the need for adequate policing resources that ensure calls for service to the community can be managed in an effective, timely and safe manner. More information about police funding can be found on the Commission’s website.

The Community Safety Knowledge Alliance (CSKA) was retained by the Commission to provide a study of detailed financial analysis that compared the Edmonton Police Service’s funding with that of six other comparable Canadian police services: Calgary, Peel, Ottawa, Regina, Winnipeg and York. The results of this study demonstrate that Edmonton receives good value from its police service. The report notes that overall, Edmonton’s policing costs were lower than the comparator police services for all indicators other than costs per capita. The Commission is sharing the report on this study with Edmontonians to improve transparency in the police budgeting process.

While Chief Dale McFee serves with the CSKA as a volunteer, he had no financial interest or benefit from CSKA engaging in this work. Direction on the contents of this report, findings, conclusions and observations are solely the product of independent work undertaken by CSKA staff, MNP contractors, and Bill Hughes, a senior fellow with the Institute of Municipal Finance and Governance at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. In order to maintain the integrity of the report, police Chiefs did not write, direct, or otherwise influence its contents.


Data from the Police Budgeting Review report:

Police Service Edmonton Calgary Ottawa Peel Regina Winnipeg York
Average Gross


$397 $357 $317 $292 $354 $360 $289
Average Actual Net


$316 $285 $283 $268 $310 $296 $235
Average Gross


$4,503 $6,676 $7,762 $9,407 $3,444 $4,904 $10,056
Average Actual Net


$3,582 $5,330 $6,929 $8,643 $3,017 $4,036 $8,192
Average Gross

Expenditure/police officer

$213,518 $214,797 $236,106 $199,395 $199,353 $179,681 $210,267
Average Actual Net

Requirement/police officer

$169,324 $170,683 $211,080 $182,828 $174,605 $147,819 $188,066