Durham, North Carolina Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis wanted more police for the city when it was time to figure out the budget. 18 more officers, to be exact, and this would have cost $1.2 million!
But the request was rejected by the city council in a 4-3 vote - for something much better.
Instead of spending that money on new police, Durham decided to allocate “about $650,000 to increase pay for the city’s part-time workers,” according to The News & Observer. This is a victory for groups like Durham Beyond Policing, who opposed the hiring of more cops and offered great alternatives.
Cities often pour money into policing while resources like a living wage, healthcare, education and more fall behind. It’s a BIG problem across the country that can feel like a slap in the face for Black people when police brutality against us is constantly in the news.
Mayor Steve Schewel mentioned that gun crime in Durham was down 20% from the year before in the discussions leading up to the decision. He said “this is a huge number.” He even mentioned that tackling the root causes around the resources communities need would help.
It’s not every day that you see a city aim to fix problems at the root and not at the branch, but when you see it you have to celebrate! Congratulations to all the amazing activists in Durham who have been working hard on this one.