Councillor Mo Salih had an eventful first board meeting for the London Police Services.
At Salihs first meeting he won his motion to move board meetings out of the police headquarters. He was passionate about this issue in his statements arguing that the police headquarters are not a welcoming environment to the public.
The board narrowly passed the motion by a vote of 4-3. The meetings will now be held in city hall in an attempt to bring in more of the community.
This issue has been brought up before and was partially addressed during this months meeting. The entire event was live-streamed on Facebook and is available on YouTube. Salih agreed that this was a great start to make the community more involved but said they need to do more.
Susan Toth was one member who agreed with the motion. Also agreeing that the live streams weren’t enough.
“Live-streaming is a huge part of accessibility and transparency . . . but there’s a level of privilege that comes with live-streaming. Not everyone can live-stream, so that’s just not enough,” says Toth.
Three members disagreed with the notion. Stephen Turner was one of them who argued the complete opposite saying.
“And I don’t think this kind of move helps to fix that. In fact, I think it goes to exacerbate that,” he said. “It says that the board and police have failed in their ability to connect with the community.
Turner also argued that city hall is just as intimidating as the police headquarters.
Salih emotionally continued to fight for the public.
“This would remove some of those traditional barriers and some of those fears that people have had,” said Salih referring to peoples uncomfortable feelings towards the current home base.
With the motion passing, meetings will now be held at city council starting January 18th. The meetings will still rotate to some other locations in London which could include the police headquarters.