Calgary police chief to provide update on anti-racism action plan
CALGARY -- A public meeting will take place Tuesday with a major focus on how the Calgary Police Service is addressing racism within the service.
Chief Mark Neufeld and chair Bonita Croft will provide an update on the Calgary Police Service’s anti-racism action plan, its response to use of force reports and the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.
The first two topics stem from a series of Black Lives Matter rallies that were held in Calgary in June.
The demonstrations sparked three days of public hearings with the city in July, where people shared their experiences with racism and discrimination in Calgary.
As a result, city council passed several recommendations including creating an anti-racism action committee and mandatory training on anti-racism.
Police also acknowledged systemic racism exists within the force and committed to a list of changes as a result of the hearings and other private meetings held with the community.
The changes include policy reviews on the body-worn camera program, use of force and street check policies.
Chief Neufeld has also spoken to council about reallocating funding from its budget to other community partners to help respond to mental health calls but the details and amount of money have not been discussed.
The idea did grab the attention of the provincial justice minister who wrote letters to the mayors in Calgary and Edmonton, opposing the idea of defunding city police services.
The police commission meeting is expected to include a presentation on the impacts the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is having on the CPS and crime in Calgary.
The public teleconference is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.