If you don’t hate the police, you can’t oversee them.
Confused? So am I. But that’s the message the Calgary Police Commission is sending out.
The Calgary Police Commission is the civilian oversight arm of the city’s police service, and is responsible for appointing the next chief of police, and managing the public complaints process; including complaints regarding the Chief of Police; hearing appeals regarding the policies of, or services provided by, the Calgary Police Service.
The culture of policing in Calgary flows directly from the police commission.
The lone conservative city councillor on the commission, Jeromy Farkas (who is also running to be the mayor of Calgary against long-time progressive incumbent Naheed Nenshi), was removed from his position on the commission Monday morning by city council. According to Farkas, he was booted from the oversight panel because he refuses to profess the anti-police mantra of Black Lives Matter.
Farkas’ office issued a statement Monday morning:
Despite his request to continue to serve, Calgary city council has removed Ward 11 councillor Jeromy Farkas from the Calgary city police commission effective today.
The removal follows Farkas' refusal to endorse the statements that "the foundation of policing is racist" and his opposition to council's plan to drastically and further reduce the Calgary police service budget.
“By courting the abolish and defund police movement city council is playing with fire and its Calgarians who are getting burned. There is no position or title in the world that is worth putting my family, neighbours and constituents in danger. I would rather be fired than be made to do or say something that would put Calgarians at risk,” Farkas said.
Farkas has been outspoken against calls to defund the police, saying a proposed “reallocation” of $10-million annually in police funding would “put Calgarians in harms way.”
Watch my latest report on the ousting of Farkas, and what that means for policing in the heart of Alberta.