Alderman wary of cuts to funding for new cops - Metro US

Alderman wary of cuts to funding for new cops

City streets will be less safe if the province follows through with plans to reduce funding for new Calgary cops, says an inner-city alderman.

Ald. John Mar said reports that Solicitor General Fred Lindsay is reconsidering provincial plans to fund 41 new officers for Calgary are troubling and may force cops to scale back enforcement plans primarily in the downtown core.

“Do fewer boots on the street, a lower level of investigations and less police response, mean the streets aren’t as safe? Yes,” Mar said.

“If they do the unthinkable and follow through with this, we’re going to have to look at our own budget because we need these officers.”

The former Mountie and current member of Calgary’s police commission has already drafted a letter to Justice Minister Alison Redford, asking that she quell any discussion of slashing promised police funding.

Noting an influx of new officers into the downtown core that was funded jointly by the city and province has lowered crime rates by 26 per cent, Mar said any reduced commitment would likely force police to shift personnel to suburban areas, possibly reversing some of the positive changes that have been made.

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