Toronto's Police Chief Bill Blair wants to keep some of the equipment bought expressly for the G20 Summit, particularly security cameras and so-called long range acoustic devices.

"We have some requirement for CCTV cameras in certain neighbourhoods that are experiencing some violence and difficulty," Blair said Monday outside a Toronto Police Services Board meeting.

The police acquired 77 new cameras for use downtown for the June 26-27 G20 Summit in the downtown core. The cameras had to come down after the summit.

The cameras had to come down after the summit.

At the January Police Services Board meeting, Blair will formally ask to keep the cameras. Because they were purchased for the G20, they will only cost half the usual price. The federal government will pay the rest, CTV Toronto reported.

The cost to the service would be $90,000.

If the police do get to acquire the 52 new cameras, it would bring the total number to 76. Police would not be able to deploy the cameras immediately.

The police also acquired four Long Range Acoustic Devices for the summit. The LRADs, as they are also known, are used for crowd control.

Blair would like to keep three for the police (one for the marine unit), with the fourth possibly going to Toronto Fire.

G20 expenses

The total bill for the summit isn't yet known. A second summit, the G8, also occurred in the cottage country city of Huntsville on June 25-26.

The preliminary bill, as of early November, is at least $860 million. Of that, total security costs are $676 million.

According to Blair, the federal government's late decision to move the G20 summit to downtown Toronto's Metro Convention Centre meant there was no time to seek competitive bids for items such as hotel rooms, meals and riot equipment.

The city and the police board approved the service's skirting of normal procurement procedures.

The costs include:

  • radio rentals - $4.6 million
  • cameras and fibre optics - $1.1 million
  • detention centre lease - $1.7 million

Hotel rooms for police are expected to cost more than $5 million.

Blair said the expenditures will still come in under the budgeted figure of $124.8 million, saying it will come in around $76 million.

To put that number in context, the city budgeted $888 million to provide policing services this year, the largest single item in Toronto's operating budget.

A full accounting of G20 policing costs for Toronto will be presented at the January police services board meeting.

It is anticipated the federal government will cover the costs incurred by Toronto police.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness