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How police use private donations to buy big-ticket items

THE BIG STORY | posted Thursday, Sep 3rd, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, one of the goals of the movement to defund the police is to limit a police force’s ability to acquire expensive, military-style equipment. Even if that movement is successful, however, the police have other ways of funding their purchases. It doesn’t get much attention, but police foundations across Canada have in recent years used money given to them by corporate donors to help police purchase everything from a patrol boat to an armoured vehicle and a drone program.

None of those purchases needed the approval of city hall or the public. None of them was open and transparent. And none of them would have been stopped by defunding the police department. In fact, as defunding the police gains momentum, these foundations will become more attractive to police departments and more outrageous to people who worry about preferential treatment for donors.

GUEST: Martin Lukacs

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

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