"Transit advocates say added police presence won't fully address increasing disturbance calls"

Several groups focused on improving Calgary’s transit system say such a strategy is greatly needed if safety is going to be fixed. Christine Laing with the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good said increasing police presence is not the answer the city needs to address safety issues.

“The only thing this will accomplish is to allow a handful of well-dressed Calgarians to pretend we don’t live in a society that chronically defunds mental health support and harm reduction,” said Laing. “This isn’t an officer space.”

Laing said it would be much more effective to use more downtown outreach addictions partnership teams, or police and crisis teams, to respond to issues that police are not equipped to deal with, such as mental health crises.

“Anything past this short term, money needs to go to improving transit use and a mental health strategy or we will be here again and again,” said Laing.