CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- If passed, a new bill in the North Carolina Senate would discourage local governments from defunding the police.
The bill would serve as somewhat of a warning to local governments that if they choose to cut funding for law enforcement. According to the bill, any governments that cut funding should expect state funding to get reduced for them.
Senate Bill 100 says that if cities and counties cut funds for law enforcement by more than one percent of the yearly budget, the county or city as a whole will receive a corresponding cut in state shared revenue.
The sponsors of the bill, Sen. Chuck Edwards, Sen. Norman Sanders and Sen. Danny Britt Jr., say the bill would provide incentive for local governments to keep their police with their normal budget.
According to Senator Edwards, the bill is necessary to prevent more cities and counties from trying to defund their law enforcement, since it has already started to happen in some.
“In Nashville last fall, there was a clear action taken to cut $770,000 out of the police budget and a statement came out from city leaders shortly after that, saying that that was only initial steps that telegraphed to myself and others down here in Raleigh that something needs to be done on the state level,” Edwards said.
After the city of Nashville cut those funds, more than thirty police officers reportedly resigned.
The police funding protection act still needs to get through committee votes and from there it will head to the Senate floor. Edwards does predict there will be some opposition from the Democratic side of the legislature.
Yolián Ortiz with the Fraternal Order of Police thinks this bill is necessary to assure police funding stays intact.
“Everybody wants a quick solution, something that gets done quickly and gets changed, but they don’t seem to care to know what’s happening within the police department,” Ortiz said. “And actually, what the police department is doing, not just outside stopping people, you know, for traffic violations or catching homicide murderers, but also helping the community move forward.”