Salt Lake City Council Withholds $5M From Police Budget
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday voted to withhold millions of dollars in funding for police.
The proposed $84 million Salt Lake City Police Department budget was pared down by approximately $5.3 million, money that will be put into a holding account that is controlled by the council.
Of that money, $2.5 million will go to the police department’s social worker program, and more than $322,000 could be used possibly for additional de-escalation training.
Council members said the intent is that the money will be spent using input from a new city commission being formed. The council also voted to add an additional $687,000 to provide all sworn officers with body cameras and Tasers.
“I’m very excited, with the money that they’ve set aside, that we can look to this commission,” SLCPD Chief Mike Brown said Wednesday. “I’m not quite sure who that is going to be, but I’m excited to hear we have a chance to listen, to learn, and then to act.”
The council stressed the budget actions are only a start, not an end, to a lengthy public conversation over police violence and systemic racism.
The vote followed a heated council meeting held virtually.
Many public commenters said the council members have ignored their demands to “defund police.”
Protesters across the nation for weeks have demanded police reform following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. One of protesters’ demands is to defund police departments.
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