Winnipeg’s police chief earned the most of any city employee last year and five other Winnipeg Police Service staff joined him in the Top 10.
Police Chief Danny Smyth earned $272,876 of compensation last year. The figure includes salary, and can also factor in several other benefits, such as overtime, car allowance, parking, sick pay, vacation pay and severance pay.
The information was revealed in a 2019 compensation disclosure report on Monday, which lists all employees who made more than $75,000 that year.
The city’s interim chief administrative officer, Mike Ruta, came in second place, with $244,021, followed by Chief Transportation and Utilities Officer Dave Wardrop, who earned $225,299.
Another five police officials are included in the Top 10 compensation packages, including two sergeants and three deputy chiefs.
Coun. Markus Chambers, the new chairperson of the Winnipeg police board, said high-ranking police officials have tended to rank near the top of the salary list in recent years.
"This is standard when I look at compensation and remuneration across Canada for police chiefs and executives," said Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River).
The councillor said the public may deem those salaries high but the city must pay enough to attract qualified people to key roles, including within the police department.
"Salaries always become an issue in the sense that it’s tax dollars. In order to attract the talent for these very important roles and critical decision-making positions, you need the top people in those roles and with that comes the compensation to attract them," said Chambers.
A spokesperson for the police service could not be reached for comment by deadline Monday.
Meanwhile, Mayor Brian Bowman ranked in 18th place for his compensation, making $186,256 in 2019.
Bowman was in meetings and unavailable for an interview Monday.
The city did add one new item to its annual disclosure report, a list of city-paid travel expenses for senior administrative staff, information it now expects to release each year.
"This is the first time we are proactively, publicly disclosing this information," wrote Felicia Wiltshire, the city’s communications director, in an emailed statement.
Wiltshire noted the disclosure would not include any travel expenses that were reimbursed by a third party.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.
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