KITCHENER -- The Waterloo Regional Police Service is asking for another $8 million in this year's budget, bringing the total to $189 million.

The request comes as some local community groups continue calls to defund the police.

The police board met on Monday afternoon to discuss the request, which represents a five per cent increase over last year's budget.

There are no staff changes included in the change, but police cited escalating cost as a reason for needing more money. Those include contractual salary increases, along with facility and fleet maintenance.

Members of the African, Caribbean and Black Network said they're disappointed and want the funds relocated to mental health services in the community.

Police defended the need for facility upgrades.

"We've taken a serious look at our capital budget and again our parking facility at headquarters is 30 plus years old," Chief Bryan Larkin said.

"We're then instead focusing on an understanding of where violence comes from, whether that's mental health problems, substance abuse or anything like that through the reallocation of services and being actually able to cultivate other organizations that can appropriately respond to these calls," Lang Ncube with the ACB Network Waterloo Region said.
The proposed increase would work out to about $23 more in taxes for the average regional household.

This report was the first version of the draft budget.