Spending More Money on Police Shows No Clear Link to Lower Crime Levels

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One effect we’re now seeing from the inflation that is largely a product of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are municipal tax increases on a scale that was politically unimaginable not long ago.

Brandon, the second largest city in Manitoba, is proposing a 10 percent increase. Calgary raised taxes by 7.8 percent. The City Council in Vancouver approved a 7.5 percent increase, and Toronto’s City Council is debating a proposed 10.6 percent increase.

One item that generally isn’t getting a lot of attention in all this, however, is the cost of policing, the single biggest expense in most Canadian municipalities.

While it varies by province, in many communities police budgets are debated by police boards, which then pass on their recommendations to city councils for final approval. In Toronto, the Council is looking at a proposal to raise police spending by 18.3 million Canadian dollars, to 1.35 billion dollars.

But in social media and at City Hall, the police service is pushing for the Council to adopt the police board’s recommendation and add a further 12.6 million dollars to the increase. Chief Myron Demkiw said that not doing so would create “unacceptable risk and imperil the service’s ability to ensure public safety, to offer community policing, and to proactively patrol the city.”

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Spending More Money on Police Shows No Clear Link to Lower Crime Levels

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