Finance was a clear focal point at the Waterloo Regional Police board meeting Wednesday morning.

The issue of an overtime budget increasing year after year was brought to the table.

In 2019, the OT budget is up by over 33,000 hours.

This ends up putting the police force $1.8 million over budget.

Police say catching a serial sexual child predator was a high priority crime they needed to solve.

"We obviously have to resource that significantly," said WRPS cheif Bryan Larkin. "Our investigative team litearlly worked around the clock."

A drug takedown in Cambridge over the summer, several shootings, and a number of homicides across the region have led to police resources being maxed out.

The finance unit with the police services board says this is due to staffing shortages primarily at the divisions, courts, communications, and major crime unit.

"We have to make sure we have adequate saffing and effective staffing," said Larkin. "But we have to ensure a better balance moving forward."

An overtime review is underway to look at recommendations to lower levels.

"When people work extensively and have long hours, the accumulative impact of what they see in the front line does lead to an enhanced impact on occupational stress," said Larkin.

In April's finance report, overtime was over budget by 18,000 and $1.2 million.

The overall overtime budget is expected to close 2019 with a $900,000 surplus.