Edmonton Mayor Requires Adjustments in Police Price range Management – EdmontonNews WAALI

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi says he believes the accountability and governance model overseeing the Edmonton Police Service is outdated.

Sohi made the comments in response to questions from reporters on Tuesday.

Last week, city councilors spent two days debating a new funding formula for the police service. Eventually, they agreed to make approximately $414 million available to EPS in 2023, an increase of approximately $7 million.

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While the council sets the budget, it is up to the Edmonton Police Commission to determine how those funds are spent.

“I don’t think we should expect community volunteers to be appointed and responsible for overseeing a half-billion-dollar budget,” Sohi said.

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He added that besides being in control of the big budget, he also felt the commission was not the right way to hold the police accountable.

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“I don’t know what the solutions are, but the governance structure isn’t really conducive to asking tough questions and asking the right questions,” the mayor said.

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Since his election a year ago, the current city council has been critical of the service.

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Ward Papastew Councilman Michael Janz regularly criticizes Edmonton Police Association President Michael Elliott and the EPS as a whole, both in person and on social media.

He agrees with Sohi that changes to the governance model are needed and said his criticism will not stop.

“Whether they’re on Twitter, whether they’re in blog posts, whether they’re in chambers, I won’t stop asking questions,” Janz said Tuesday.

“I will continue to ask these questions and voice these concerns.”

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Edmonton Police Commission Chairman John McDougall said that’s why the volunteer group was necessary.

“Police commissions exist to ensure there is a separation between elected local officials and police services,” McDougall wrote in a statement to Global News.

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“This separation is codified in provincial law,” he added, saying the commission will consider the mayor’s comments at an upcoming meeting.

The province has reviewed the police law and is currently considering possible changes, including the governance model.

Representatives for Prime Minister Danielle Smith and the Attorney General did not respond to Global News’ inquiries about where that review stands and when changes might be made.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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