The Toronto Police Services Board has rejected a request by the police chief for a budget increase of $21.3 million, and has asked that he come back next month with a revised one.

Bill Blair had asked that the board increase the force’s annual budget by $21.3 million to $949.1 million.

However, the City of Toronto wants to freeze the police’s 2013 budget  at $927.8 million and recommended that the board not approve the increase.

Blair said adhering to a zero-per-cent target would mean “significant staff reductions,” namely 137 uniformed officers and 52 civilian staff members.

“We would not be interested in actually compromising the safety of the city and I don’t believe that’s going to be the case. I believe that some changes can be made.” Coun. Michael Thompson.

During the meeting, the board approved a motion to defer approval of the budget until next month. Coun. Nunziata described Blair’s budget increase unacceptable.

“I believe that there’s ways that we can do it and I believe the chief is going to look at all the options and I think we can do it within the existing budget that we have.” Coun. Frances Nunziata.

Board members then asked the chief to come back in December with a 2013 budget that had no increase.

“The board has asked me to come back to further discussion. They’ve made a number of recommendations of things that they would like me to consider,” said Blair. “I’ve already informed the board of what we’re doing in our organizational review and they’ve asked us to continue to look at that.”

Outsourcing crossing guards and court security, and reducing the hours of some divisions were some recommendations made to reduce the police budget. Another suggestion was to have only one officer per cruiser instead of two.

Opponents said the cuts would put Toronto in danger, especially in high crime areas.

The next budget meeting is scheduled for Dec. 14.