NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) — Northampton City Council has decided to withdraw the motion for defunding police during its council meeting. They now have until July 1 to make a decision on the police budget.
The budget cut proposal came in response to protests calling for an end to police brutality, and to defund law enforcement Northampton’s City Council held a final reading and vote on the city’s police budget.
Mayor David Narkewicz is currently proposing roughly $6,700,759, which is a decrease from the current fiscal year’s budget.
Residents voiced their opinions on whether to keep the funding or defund in the next fiscal year.
“The answer is a budget cut tonight,” said Emily Coffin of Northampton. “As working towards ending white supremacy, which involves taking risks, regardless of reallocation.”
“There are no alternatives in place on any level,” said Becca Steinquist of Florence. “Which will leave the population Northampton vulnerable to not having the necessary, vital service provided to them at a time of crisis.”
The newer proposal from the mayor would be saving the city $200,000. According to Northampton Police chief Jody D. Kasper, the department will also lose extra funding to meet the demands of proper training.
“I think at the end of the day we have common ground,” said Chief Kasper. “In the sense, we all want to provide the best services that we can to our community. But communities do have a limited budget and I think we have to be realistic about that.”
A Policing review commission consisting of 15 members who include people of color and are all Northampton residents was also proposed by the mayor.