Halifax council approves funding for report on police body cameras

·2 min read
A study on the use of body cameras by police was one of 11 budget extras Halifax regional council approved Wednesday. (Monty Kruger/CBC - image credit)
A study on the use of body cameras by police was one of 11 budget extras Halifax regional council approved Wednesday. (Monty Kruger/CBC - image credit)

Despite stiff opposition from some members of the public, Halifax regional council voted 14-3 on Wednesday to keep an $85,000 study looking into the potential use of body cameras in next year's police budget.

More than two dozen members of the public made presentations at the meeting.

"Police cameras don't do anything to change police behaviour, or change people's perception of the police," said Sadie Beaton.

The chief of the Halifax Regional Police, Dan Kinsella, has said body cameras would provide accountability for the force and the community.

Coun. Shawn Cleary voted for the motion Wednesday.

"I want the evidence," he said. "I want to see what we are getting into if [Halifax Regional Police] decides to go down this road."

More budget extras to be debated

The study was one of 11 budget extras council approved. The rest of the list will be debated Thursday.

Finance officials said the extras could be covered by unexpected increases in the deed transfer tax, and there would still be some funds to further reduce the tax rate.

The final approval of next year's $85-million budget is expected on May 4.

Many of Wednesday's speakers were upset with the amount budgeted, in light of reviews currently underway looking at whether to defund the police.

'Be on the right side of history,' says speaker

"Asking for additional funding while this decision is being made does not seem to respect the process," said Laura Conrad.

There were several suggestions about redirecting some of the money to affordable housing and victim services.

"Be bold and make the tough decisions to reduce funding to the police and redistribute to community supports," said Kate Powell. "Be on the right side of history on this issue."

MORE TOP STORIES