Salt Lake City Council to decide whether to defund police department

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)—Tuesday, The Salt Lake City Council could decide the police department’s 2020-2021 budget.

 This amid protesters calling to defund the department.

‘Defund the Police’: What does it really mean?

The Mayor’s 2020-2021 budget recommends roughly $80 million for the department but community members are calling for a $30 million cut.

Council Chair Chris Wharton says if the city council decides to decrease the budget, that money could go into community housing, mental health services and educational programs. 

Wharton says the city council needs to clarify the potential decrease in funding and whether the proposed hiring freeze will apply to civilian staff or only sworn officers.

Regardless of what happens, Wharton says officers will still be patrolling the streets. 

The police departments say potentially cutting its recommend budget could be detrimental. 

“Having that finance and having that support is important So that officers are able to do the jobs they need to and really protect and serve the community,” Salt Lake City Police Detective Wilkins said.

The city council meeting to potentially decide on the department’s budget starts at 7 p.m. 

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