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Council votes to provide $407M in funding for Edmonton police

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For the first time in three years, the Edmonton police budget will not be reduced. Council voted on Tuesday to make $407 million available to the Edmonton Police Service in 2023, the same amount as EPS received in 2022.

The decision will come at a cost to taxpayers.

“Just to keep the services at 2022 level into 2023 will require a four to four and a half per cent tax levy increase,” Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said Tuesday.

The city says the money will sustain the EPS while council figures out how to rejig the police funding formula.

The funding formula was introduced in 2016, tying the police budget to population, city size, and internal police service inflation.

Council suspended that formula in 2020 after days of public hearings on community safety and policing.

“While I want to do a formula based model, I also don’t want to keep the existing formula. Because I think the existing formula is completely unsustainable,” Coin. Andrew Knack said.

Council agreed that a formula based model would take some of the emotion out of police budget decisions, but that the previous version led to constant increases that were untenable.

Since 2020, council has withheld $22 million from planned increases to the police budget.

EPS officials declined to comment on the city’s decision.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson. 

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