Police hand out fewer tickets, but rake in the overtime pay

While the city of Montreal posted a $139 million surplus last year, one area that is costing money is the Montreal police department.

According to Pierre Desrochers, head of the city's Executive Committee, overtime for police officers directing traffic came in $10 million over budget.

"There has to be a better way of doing it," said Desrochers. "The citizens are asking why, we are asking why, and we know there are some other ways of doing it."

The idea of using private contractors has been tossed around, or even using civilians. Such a move would no doubt save money.

A senior officer on traffic duty is paid roughly $62 an hour for overtime. In other Canadian cities a civilian is paid to do the same job for about $20 an hour.

Authorities though say provincial law does not allow anyone except a police officer to direct traffic, or change traffic lights manually.

Not only is overtime and traffic detail pay costing the city, the SPVM for the third straight year missed its mark for ticket quotas.

Overall, parking and road fines totalled $147 million in 2016, $29 million less than what the city had expected.

Despite coming in $9.4 million less than in 2015, Desrochers said officers actually gave out more tickets last year, but a change in the system and procedure forced over $10 million in fines to carry over into 2017.