The Impact Of “Defunding” Police, Explained


In an effort to help bring awareness towards the ever needed change in mental health and mental health services Dr. Paulette Steeves, Professor, Canada Research Chair in Healing and Reconciliation at Algoma University, provided a statement to local media at the Civic Centre on Thursday afternoon. This statement is in relation to “defunding” the police to relocate 10 per cent of those funds towards social services, in helping to provide proper resources for those individuals suffering from mental illness.

“Defunding the police does not mean stripping a department of its budget or abolishing it all together. It’s about scaling back budgets and relocating those resources to other agencies, investing in communities, education and medical access. People call it defunding, but it’s about balancing budgets in a different way. The concept is really simple, when cities start investing in community services they reduce the need to call police officers.”

Dr. Steeves statement was created through some of her own personal experiences and pulls on the latest petition created to put pressure on Mayor Christian Provenzano and City Council to improve such services. To date the petition is alright over 1,200 signatures and the number keeps climbing.

Prior to Dr. Steeves statement, a few supporters made themselves present, but at the last moment decided to retract their signatures and not speak. Dr. Steeves being the only speaker she led the statement with high hopes that her words will reach the audience it needs to reach.

The 10 per cent that is asked to be relocated to social services isn’t that large of a cut when looking at the large picture of things. The petition creator asked to remain anonymous, but had done that research to show that the 10 per cent cut would be $2.75 million when the forecast of the final police budget is over $27 million.

When asking Dr. Steeves if this is enough, her response to SaultOnline was “No, I think people are not aware of the high need.”


  1. Well maybe we can take a lesson from the Montreal police strike in 1969 for our political woksters out there. Not all ideas are good ones.

    in 16 hours of the police strike:
    6 banks robbed
    hundreds of shops looted
    12 fires
    3 million in property damage
    and of course they had to call in the army

  2. Or we could divert some of the salaries of teachers like Steeves to increase police budgets. The Sault benefits from the police – they are critical to the orderly functioning of the city. Crime rates are high enough without these non-ideas from academics with a lot of time on their hands.

  3. If all these new services need to be expanded why don’t the employees that are living off the taxpayer funded services take a small pay cut to help support their communities instead wanting to take from one service to support another. The taxpayers are getting peeled like bananas because every one thinks the should be paid more than every one else. All these sectors say they are over worked because they are understaffed well yes because they are all making to much money. Give back a little and more people can be hired other wise keep working under staffed

  4. Sorry, but taking money away from the police is the dumbest thing I have heard in a long time .. Putting more funding into the sources of most of he police issues in this city and taking away their ability to control it is the most retarding thinking I have heard in a long time, and I don’t care how well educated you think you are…A+B still equals C…, and I don’t even understand Algebra but I can understand this…

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