Police departments need more funding, not less

Removing bike patrols in Saanich the latest casualty of lack of appropriate police funding

Policing is a positive action for human life, as it protects individuals against errant persons who initiate force. Here, police are also expected to be counsellors and helpers of individuals who are mentally confused or on very hard times financially – notably the homeless.

Yet Saanich police apparently cannot afford a very efficient way to patrol parks like Cuthbert Holmes, where both peaceful and violent homeless people are. Bicycle patrols are much more efficient than foot patrols in the scale of that park. Even SUVs can’t navigate all the trails.

Police chiefs and police boards should be asking for substantially more funding instead of being cowed by politicians.

Voters should challenge councillors and the mayor to provide more funds for policing, instead of spending on fancy flower beds or meaningless bureaucratic reports.

Overall, the justice system helps poor people the most, because they do not have financial resilience to cope with theft of their belongings and loss of income due to injury from assault. Yet politicians who claim to want to help people are the strongest objectors to funding the justice system properly.

Keith Sketchley

Saanich

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