Council votes to cut $11M from Edmonton police budget over 2 years
EDMONTON -- Edmonton city council has voted to cut $11 million in funding from the Edmonton Police Service.
The reduction will be split between the 2021 and 2022 budgets.
The city will instead spend that money on housing, social and community services, as well as a community safety and well-being task force.
Chief Dale McFee said the cut will not impact frontline services for Edmonton residents.
He is also hoping to make the PACT team, which pairs officers with social workers, a program that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“It all starts with call,” he said. “And if we can get all call centres under one roof where police and fire main contributors and everyone is there, if we make assessment on front end, we have a better chance at getting right.”
He also said he would like to see mental health workers at that call centre.
“Police can’t solve it alone,” McFee said. “Doing more of the same isn’t working.”
In addition to the funding changes for police, council also voted to look into options to make transit peace officers more accountable for excessive use of force.