Smiths Falls' High Policing Costs - Candidates Debate
I am writing in response to councillor and candidate Dawn Quinn’s comments during the municipal all-candidates debate, held on Oct. 4, when asked about the high cost of our local Smiths Falls Police Service.
“I really believe there are many reasons why police costing is so high, one of the reasons and people don’t like to hear this but I don’t mind saying these things is because we have so much welfare within our town.”
Quinn implies that Smiths Falls has higher than usual rates of people on social assistance, perpetuating the town’s already bad rap on this subject and furthering the stigma associated with asking for help. This comment also suggests that there is nothing the municipality can do to control high policing costs as “welfare” is provincially governed. I believe the high cost of our police force is more likely due to factors like insufficient mental health resources and long waitlists for help. Needing support does not make you a criminal.