By Tan Mei Xi
A concrete plan for policing alternatives must be in place before reductions are made in the budget of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), said a Vancouver city councillor.
"I don't think it's as simple as 'take from one service over here to provide to another'," said Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung. "Who is the other? What does it look like? Who is going to provide those services?"
"I would call on everyone to roll up their sleeves, dial down on the rhetoric a little bit, and try to have some meaningful conversations around what that model could be," Kirby-Yung said.
Calls for reviewing the VPD's budget were renewed by community advocates after the shooting of 37-year-old Chester in the Downtown Eastside on Jan. 5.
Last year, Pivot Legal Society and the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users called for the VPD's budget to be reduced by 50 per cent and the funds transferred to other social services.