Hamilton police chief open to other agencies responding to mental health, addictions calls – CBC News – 2020-07-25

After weeks of public outcry for police reform, Hamliton’s police chief says, despite some reservations, he’s open to allowing community agencies to respond to service calls related to mental health and addictions issues.

Those comments came during a Hamilton Police Services Board meeting on Thursday, about 90 minutes after Black Lives Matter activists painted “DEFUND THE POLICE” on Main Street West. It is now the subject of a police investigation, but no arrest warrants have been issued.

Questions about how to respond to defunding came from Ward 5 Councillor Chad Collins. He asked about the shortcomings of the city’s current approach from a resource perspective.

Chief Eric Girt responded saying he supported more funding toward mental health calls and said he would be “happy to get out of the business, so to speak.

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