Your Community readers suggest ways to cut police costs

Categories: Canada, Community

CBC News is running a week-long series of reports on the cost of policing in Canada. Police budgets have almost doubled in the last 15 years even as the crime rate has fallen since its peak in 1991. 

 Police cadets patrol the streets in Winnpeg. (CBC)In southwestern Ontario, communities are floating the idea of creating a regional police force in areas that currently have contracts with the Ontario Provincial Police as a way to cut costs. 

In Winnipeg, police cadet patrols are handling some of the routine duties, such as foot patrols and directing traffic, that would normally tie up officers.  

In the comments on a column by University of Ottawa criminologist Michael Kempa, members of the CBC Community offered their own solutions. 

  • "How about re-examining our strategy on our perpetual War on Drugs, how much is it costing policing and society simply by the mere fact that marijuana is illegal?" said Mark 138.

  • "Stop turning police forces into paramilitary outfits, stop making Canadians paranoid about unreported crime and legalize non harmful recreational drugs," said Filthy MacNasty.

  • "The problem is that emergency services personnel get binding arbitration and if one group gets a good increase the arbitrators will give it to the other groups too!" said yellowcanoe.

  • "Crime rates continue to decrease yet police forces continue to expand. Not really a surprise, any bureaucracy left unchecked would do the same. The politicians just need to find some backbone to deal with this," said AlbertaRural. 

But others disagreed with cost cutting measures suggested to cut police budgets. 

  • "If you think we can save money by replacing trained police with mall cops you are crazy. Private security workers have about a week of training. The cost to society from crime would rise and wipe out any savings which might accrue in the short term," said NanaimoGuy.

  • "Ex-police officer here, and you get what you pay for. Policing has changed over the years. You only have to read about it here in the CBC. You cannot expect security people to do the highly trained work of police. They are usually want-to-be officers that could not make it on the job," said robert20. 

Thank you for all your comments. 

Tags: Canada, Community, Community Reaction, money, Politics

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