Macdonald-Laurier Institute author Christian Leuprecht appeared on TVO’s The Agenda on Monday to discuss the rising cost of policing in Canada.
Leuprecht is the author of an MLI paper titled “The Blue Line or the Bottom Line of Police Services in Canada: Arresting runaway costs”. It shows why the escalation of police budgets is unsustainable and offers alternative methods for delivering similar services at lower costs.
The CBC Radio One program The 180 also interviewed Leuprecht on the subject.
He told the show that one of the reasons why police budgets have grown so large is that provinces and municipalities have off-loaded a lot of their responsibilities onto police.
“People tend to be very satisfied with the police service that they get, so in that sense the quality is a very high quality”, he told the program. “But I would say that the amount of money that we pay for that service, relative to the actual overall outcomes, is a very expensive service delivery model.”
He says it’s time for police services to hire civilians to do some of the work currently done by police officers. Transcribing witness interviews or investigating crimes such as burglary where there isn’t an immediate threat don’t always need to be done by police officers.
The Westman Journal, a newspaper in Brandon, Manitoba, also cited Leuprecht’s work for MLI in a column arguing for the need to examine the cost of policing in greater detail.