Whether or not to pay suspended police officers has Timmins city council split.

Although Mayor Steve Black is advocating it, one councillor is calling it a human rights issue.

Black is the chairman of the Police Board, and says it’s an important resolution to support. He says the process can take years, and if you have an officer who is being paid $100K a year, that adds up.

Pat Bamford, who has represented Ward 4 for almost ten years, says in Canada, you are innocent until proven guilty.

He says when you don’t pay someone, you are considering them guilty, and creating hardships for them.

However, neither the police board or council has the authority to change the provincial legislature.

If the police board can create a resolution that council approves, it will then go to the province.

Bamford says people in the community don’t like to pay someone to sit at home. So why not, he asks, give the suspended officer something to do that’s worthwhile and productive, so the taxpayer gets their dollar.

The issue is the centre of controversy in town, after the news that Staff Sergeant Dave Starcevic has been hit with more charges.