Copping cash

Are police trying to pick Pride's pockets?

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You have to wonder what the Toronto police service is doing with that $500 million plus that city hall forked over.

Earlier this week, Toronto’s finest were after Pride Day to pay for the policing of the parade. 52 Division superintendent Aidan Maher says he doesn’t have the funds for the additional officers.

“Where within our police budget are the additional funds for that event?” he asks.

Councillor Kyle Rae is furious that they’re hitting up Pride for costs tagged at about $60,000.

“It’s called a shakedown,” he charges, adding, “Every year somebody at headquarters tries to feather the wallet of police officers by getting the community to pay for them to do their job.”

Although last year city hall provided $350,000 to police the Pride parade, Caribana, the Santa Claus parade and the Beaches jazz festival, there seems to be some confusion about whether that money has been made available this year.

Maher says he’s not sure if his higher-ups have redirected this year’s funds to something else.

But budget chief Tom Jakobek says that when the city raised the police budget this year, they should have expected to cover special events.

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