CALGARY – The city has announced details on how it plans to reallocate some police funds.

A total of $16 million has been earmarked with over two dozen organizations getting some of the cash, while police will also spend money on adjusting their services.

Some of these organizations include Alpha House and the Distress Centre to help with crisis response, while money for police will go towards creating more teams that pair officers with mental health clinicians.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says this is a collaborative approach.

“Investing in programs that bring together first responders and mental health providers, including clinicians and social workers, will provide better relief and support to those in crisis. It will also result in decreased demand on police as more appropriate services become available for Calgarians,” he said.

Police chief Mark Neufeld says the plans have a lot of buy-in from the service and everyone will benefit.

“We have long said that in a 24/7 world, police officers are often the default responders to calls better suited for mental health experts. This reallocation of funding provides better crisis response for citizens, provides much-needed support to our frontline officers and it also reaffirms our commitment to transformational culture change within CPS, to honour our commitment to anti-racism, equity and inclusion.”

They add the work is not done though, and the focus was getting money out the door quickly, with more initiatives to come in the future.

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