Owen Sound council rejects motion to 'defund' police by 30%
A resounding rejection of a motion Monday night to defund Owen Sound police.
Not only did fellow councillors of John Tamming reject his request for a two week delay on the motion, they took the opportunity to vote on it immediately, 7-1 against the idea of slashing the police budget by 30 percent.
Tamming, who has voiced his disappointment in the past over the city's inability to cut the budgets of police and fire, said he wanted to see council vote down any police budget that came in over $7.5 million.
The current budget is $10.8 million.
He says the savings would then go towards mental health, addiction and homelessness initiatives similar to recent calls by supporters of Black Lives Matter.
In fact, at least one councillor accused Tamming of using current events to forward his own agenda of cutting the police budget.
Tamming denies the accusation.
Mayor Ian Boddy says he'll be bringing forward a motion of his own at the next council meeting that will call for a task force to talk about ways to improve supports for those with mental health issues.
Owen Sound Police Service already has an initiative where they work closely with staff from the Canadian Mental Health Association Grey Bruce in responding to calls with a mental health component.
The Chair of the Police Service Board also had major concerns with Tamming's motion calling the 30% figure an arbitrary number that would force them to cut front line officers as the majority of the police budget is made up of salaries.