Defund the Barrie Police
Over the last 30 years we have continuosly taken money from places like education, homelessness and mental health support in order to fund and properly train our police force. Look at what is has gotten us, police are forced to deal with all of these areas now since we have neglected them for so long. We need to re-invest in our education, and especially mental health support and allow the people trained to help, help. This idea of having super police isn't the answer, just look at conviction rates from 1996 until now. Numbers have gone down from almost 90% in 1995 to under 65%. I am not against the police but I do feel we could give them a break by taking away some of their responsibilities. I.E. cops should not be in schools
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Tyler Gerrard commented
Amy, have you seen how much of the city budget gets allocated to police? Almost 80%, where else do you suggest finding money? I'd love to hear your suggestions rather than trying to look past mine. But thank you for agreeing with me other than that lol
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns. I agree that education, homelessness, and mental health should be prioritized, however I don't believe that defunding the police will solve the ongoing issues that you've mentioned. Saying "defund the police" is sensationalizing and polarizing the matter in an unnecessary way.
A better approach would be to see where funds can be gathered/reallocated so that more can be put towards education, homelessness, and mental health. When it comes to police dealing with those with mental health issues, yes they can have training but it wouldn't be to the extent that a specialist in that area can provide. Perhaps on calls where mental health is a factor, there could be a team of specialists that the Barrie police can call on.
Additionally, there needs to be a better mental health support system for those with mental health issues. Otherwise, they may become or remain homeless/commit crimes to survive/hurt themselves/hurt others, go to jail or a hospital, serve their time and then just get released back to society without an ongoing support system. Without ongoing support, they are likely to repeat the same actions since they're not getting the ongoing help they need. That is the broader issue of mental health that needs to be addressed, and not only in Barrie.