Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chief Blair says 1,000 cops could be axed to meet budget target

n what appears to be a looming budget showdown, Police Chief Bill Blair has suggested as many as 1,000 front-line officers — far more than previously discussed — may have to be laid off to meet the city’s demands.

That’s double the number floated earlier this year when the police services board asked the chief to investigate the impact of cutting 500 officers.

Blair told Citytv on Wednesday the cuts would “have a very significant impact on public safety and our ability to keep the city safe. I would be very concerned about our ability to absorb that type of loss.”

Councillor Michael Thompson, vice-chair of the police board, said they “are extremely disappointed” Blair used the media to discuss these issues when the board hasn’t seen his full report.

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