Outside Auditor To Review Salt Lake City Police Budget
Oct 8, 2020, 7:44 PM | Updated: 8:01 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In an expanded effort for transparency, members of the Salt Lake City Council will hire an outside auditor to review the Salt Lake City Police Department budget.
It’s not just any type of audit. This will be the city’s first-ever zero-based budgeting exercise.
“Instead of focusing on what we typically do with a department budget, which is what are the increases and decreases from the previous year, this budget exercise will start from zero and allow us to build up and justify each program and each expense,” councilmember Chris Wharton said.
The public can weigh in on what they want the auditor to look for, including funding for mental health initiatives or equipment.
Salt Lake City residents can submit their thoughts online through Friday.
“The chief has been very supportive of all the reforms the council has talked about this year,” Wharton said.
The decision comes in a time of social and racial unrest, with groups around the country calling for police reform and defunding police departments in the wake of controversial police shootings.
This year, $79 million was distributed to the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Official budget talks will begin next spring and the budget will be finalized by June 2021.