01/19/2016 13:48 EST | Updated 01/19/2017 00:12 EST

Councillor defends Deputy Chief Peter Sloly's criticism of police budget

A Toronto councillor who sits on the police services board is voicing her support for deputy police chief Peter Sloly — once a top contender to succeed Bill Blair as chief last year — after he sharply criticized the current state of police operations and budgeting.

Sloly should be tasked with advancing change at the force, she said, casting contentious remarks made by the high-ranking officer as an echo of what is outlined in a police-board commissioned KPMG report.

"The changes that he suggested are changes that the police board has already paid to be told by former police chiefs," Coun. Shelley Carroll told Metro Morning, referring to an audit released in December calling for short-term cuts and long-term reform at the force and Toronto Police Services Board. For the first time in Toronto police history, its budget tops $1 billion. 

"The chief and the chair [of the board] — they have a choice to make here," Carroll said.

"They can fight that change, suppress that change, a clarion call from deputy chief Sloly or they can say 'OK, you're right and you have people you've mentored in the force that respect you. We need an agent of change and I'm charging you with that task.'"

Sloly spoke at a small event hosted by the Studio Y fellowship program at the MaRS Discovery District Friday.

According to a Toronto Star report, Sloly told attendees that policing will be "exponentially costly" until it stops "being focused and driven on that reactive enforcement model."

Sloly also said the force could "drop ourselves by several hundred police officers, which represents tens of millions of dollars" by leveraging technology and "big data," the Star reported.

After unveiling two SmartTrack reports Tuesday, Mayor John Tory declined to speak on the nature of Sloly's remarks.

"A lot of the substance of what deputy chief Sloly had to say were things that were in the KPMG, things that have been discussed on a preliminary basis by the police services board," he said.