Mayor Sohi cries for more police money from the province

Eleven million dollars has been cut in regards to the police budget, now the city of Edmonton is trying to get it back.

Mayor Sohi cries for more police money from the province
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In a recent update meant to deal with crime and addiction problems plaguing the downtown core, mayor Amarjeet Sohi has asked the province to provide more money for policing.

The city of Edmonton cut 11 million dollars over two years from the police budget in July 2020 after Black Lives Matter (BLM) pressure. 

The report, Edmonton's Downtown Core and Transit System Safety Plan, comes nearly 2 years after the city council voted to defund the police by 11 million dollars over the 2021 and 2022 city budgets, and after a pressure campaign from anti-police activists. 

Now, the city is asking the province to make up the cuts: 

"A provincial commitment to police funding that addresses growth and inflation wouldreflect its renewed commitment to responding to crime and violence and would better equip the Edmonton Police Service to continue protecting public safety.

The City of Edmonton is asking the Government of Alberta to increase the per capita allocation in the Municipal Policing Grant to accurately reflect population growth and inflation.

The City of Edmonton is also asking the Government of Alberta to pay the full and current cost of a police officer which it capped in 2008 at $100,000. In 2022, this figure has nearly doubled."

The extra funding is meant to Increase proactive police presence in China Town and Alberta Avenue through 'high-visibility and high engagement.' The plan also prompts new bylaws to limit the public use of drugs in transit facilities. 

Bylaw 8353, the Conduct of Transit Passengers bans behaviour that is "reasonably expected to interfere with the safety or comfort of others using transit", including the "visible use of illicit substances." 

The city was forced to create the public safety plan after the province demanded a tough-on-crime initiative to deal with a surge in crime, open drug use, littering, harassment, and loitering near the downtown core and Chinatown in the past two years. 

Justice Minister Tyler Shandro involved the police act on May 26 to force the city to produce the plan within 2 weeks. 

"I'm glad to see that Edmonton has begun to listen to its citizens," Jason Kenney told CTV News. 

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