Nunziata opposes defunding the police

Frances Nunziata opposes defunding the police—the international movement to reduce police budgets and redirect the money to other social programs. Her position is nuanced, though: she does believe “there are concrete ways in which the City can improve on emergency responses and replace armed police officers with mobile, community-based crisis programs to de-escalate and triage non-criminal incidents”. She also says that she supports funding for social programs as alternatives to the criminal justice system.

Nunziata says she will oppose a City Council motion that would cut the police’s $1.22 billion budget by 10%.

In an email forwarded to me, she said:

Our society is coming to a touchstone moment for a necessary shift in the way we approach racial injustice, policing, and crisis response. I have been genuinely inspired by the spirited dedication and motivation I am seeing and hearing from residents – and especially youth – across our city. This is a time to express emotions, have what are often considered those ‘uncomfortable’ conversations, and address what comes out of these conversations in engaged, thoughtful and effective ways.

I do not support the motion to defund the Toronto Police Service by ten percent. While I appreciate the emotion behind it, I do not agree with the recommendations.

There is undoubtedly a need to engage in the conversation and indeed take action on the issues and injustices that are being discussed, but I do not believe that this motion is the way forward.

I wholeheartedly support allocating funding for community-led alternatives to policing and the criminal justice system, anti-racism education, programs identified in the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy, childcare, affordable housing, Tenants’ Defence Fund and food security.

There are still a number of days before City Council and I am listening to all sides of the conversation.

At the Toronto Police Services Board meeting on June 19th, a Motion by Board Member Uppala Chandrasekera was put forward with recommendations for the Board related to current events. The Board referred the report back to the Chair to allow time to engage in broad public consultation on it. I look forward to hearing these discussions.

I do believe that there are concrete ways in which the City can improve on emergency responses and replace armed police officers with mobile, community-based crisis programs to de-escalate and triage non-criminal incidents involving mental health, addictions and homeless individuals. I also believe that these solutions should be decided in consultation with Black, Indigenous and People of Colour community-led organizations and mental health, restorative justice and legal experts.


Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

2 thoughts on “Nunziata opposes defunding the police”

  1. It’s been four days since this report was posted by Adam.
    And, the silence is deafening.

    I trust we’re listening.

    And, that it’s not a case of tinnitus – because our ear drums have succumbed to the very understandable, important and loud rhetoric on display during a different kind of pandemic concern.

    We have a “wellness” problem – and it’s most likely a nurtured behaviour.

    Now, regarding terminology.

    And let’s use the current notions & healthy directives of “social distancing”. Personally, I find myself preferring the more literal, “physical distancing” guidelines – a less nuanced phrase.

    So now, considering the murderous lack of humanity over the ages and of late for all the world to see – most sadly, from some of those who are to “allegedly” there to “serve & protect” – we witness the grand consequence of inhumanity, and the vociferous outcry for “defunding” police services” everywhere.

    With this, I find myself preferring the other terminology of the “reallocation of funds” for police services”.

    After all, and generally speaking we’re still a tad nervous about the lack of law & order and “gangland” violence – which includes all the bigger players in society where apparently, those violent crime rates are up from this time last year and 6 years previously, all somewhat lost within this massive crazy called, 2020.

    As I write, many protestations on this “Pride” Sunday at City Hall are vehemently demanding a “50% defunding” of police services – ahead of City Council’s debate tomorrow, of a “10% defunding” strategy.

    What to do?

    How to approach & choose in volatile times?

    Perhaps, given the fact that when “911” is called the first responders soon arrive in layers – fire fighters, police & EMS. (?)

    They seem to approach as a “911 team” and theoretically then, should play as a “team”, right?

    And so if at all true, I therefore lean toward the notion of the “reallocation of funds” and would like to think that the “health & wellness professionals” in this trade should ride along with so-called better trained “serve & protect” types – and given the weaponry (and Union be damned) should and would absolutely be held to the highest judicial standards in the land.

    No pretenders, or “keystone cops”, please.

    Frankly, militaristic organizations clearly draw a certain type of personality, often from an aggressive patriarchal world. These would be “alpha” types need to be better screened and nurtured far better, or else completely weeded out.

    As well, maybe they should be living in the very communities that employ them, as they evidently have to do now in NYC.

    In other words, no living & raising a family in the “safer” suburbs like the “905” members earning a generous living (with benefits) from the “416”. It kind of gives the impression that you’re not fully invested in the city or community that trained you and that you’ve sworn to “serve & protect”.

    Clearly, the world needs more of that honest to goodness, universal humane creed of “The Golden Rule” – and that’s from the “powerful” top down, and from the “grass roots” bottom up.

    Seamus Heaney (poet) wrote: “Hope is not optimism which expects things to turn out well. But, something rooted in the conviction that there is good worth working (or striving) for”.

    We need to live in hope.

    The kids deserve better..
    .. they never asked for this massive “cluster f”, right?

  2. And, inadvertently omitted from the above thoughts the importance of a healthy & decent start for all our kids – a proper “Education”, preferably beginning within a strong family unit and those earliest role models that are ever present for their general, well being.

    The climb is too unreasonably steep without that constant guidance.


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