Canadian News Sep 11, 2020 6:44 PM EST

Calgary Police Chief changes stance, now believes in defunding police

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has shared the sentiment, saying that the budget would see cuts in the coming months.

Calgary Police Chief changes stance, now believes in defunding police
Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal, QC
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The Calgary Police Service has recommended that they relocate funds normally given to police to more community services.

The call for defunding the police gained momentum after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, with many forces across the US having already made cuts.

Police Chief Mark Neufeld said at a Calgary city council meeting that the call to defund police services was "a fair discussion to have."

"We commit to reallocating funds from our 2021 operating budget to design an alternative crisis response model that best services our community," he continued.

"We've heard members of the community when they said the police may not be the best first responders for types of calls involving mental health and addictions. We agree," said Neufeld.

Neufeld had previously been criticized for posting a link to a CNN article arguing that calls for defunding the police were "dangerous."

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has shared the sentiment, saying that the budget would see cuts in the coming months.

Justice Minister Madu disagrees

Newly-named Justice Minister and Solicitor General of Alberta Kaycee Madu, said last week that calls to defund law enforcement were "ridiculous."

"We must strengthen our law enforcement and make reforms where needed—not defund the police or defame those who bear enormous risks to keep our people and communities safe," said Madu on Twitter.

"An adequately funded police service is essential to ensuring these individuals are protected and provided assistance, such as when police are called for help or to investigate," Madu wrote in a letter to the Calgary letter. "So in contrast with what some are claiming, reduced funding poses risks—not benefits—to those groups."

The Post Millennial reached out to Chief Neufeld for comment. We have not heard back by time of publication.

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