Toronto police board approves proposed $48 million funding increase despite criticism
January 9, 2023 By The Canadian Press
Jan. 9, 2023, Toronto, Ont. – Toronto’s police board has unanimously approved a nearly $50-million increase to the force’s budget, despite outcry from critics who said the money would be better invested in underfunded community services.
The vote paves the way for the addition of 200 officers as well as programming aimed at addressing youth violence following recent incidents Toronto Mayor John Tory has called troubling.
Toronto police Chief Myron Demkiw said the $48.3 million increase was necessary to improve response times and boost the presence of officers in the downtown core.
Health-care workers, lawyers and community organizers argued that boosting the police force was a flawed and ineffective way to prevent crime that disproportionately targets Black, Indigenous and racialized people in the city.
The budget requires approval by city council at a meeting next month, though Tory can veto council changes – a veto that can only be overridden by a two-thirds majority of city councillors.
The budget increase comes after the city saw several violent incidents – some fatal – in or near high schools as well as on public transit last year.
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