CHARLOTTE, N.C. – City council members in Charlotte, North Carolina asked if they could cut the city’s police budget in order to give themselves a raise.
Yes, you read that right.
In order to give themselves a bump in pay for serving on the council, members proposed that they could ‘repurpose’ money allocated for CMPD Crisis Intervention Training.
The current budget for the CIT training?
How much did they want to take?
Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield asked staff whether the city would be able to consider changing the budgetary proposal in order to address ‘pressing needs’.
“We have some other pressing needs, I think it should be $1 million,” she said in the gathering on Wednesday.
Braxton Wilson was reportedly the one who brought up the issue of addressing salaries in the briefing.
“I would like to know what the county commissioners make in salary and I would like to ask that city council and the mayor salaries be put in line with what county commission makes,” Winston told City Manager Marcus Jones.
Charlotte city council members currently take home a salary of $19,809 per year and a $5,800 auto allowance. They also receive a $3,100 technology allowance. The mayor earns $25,636 per year.
They’re reportedly seeking around $28,336 per year plus car, technology and expense allowances totaling $17,656 per commissioner.
During a City of Charlotte budget briefing Wednesday, some council members asked city staff about cutting $1 million in police crisis intervention training in order to raise city council and the mayor’s salaries. https://t.co/EWGcQgCGOe
— WBTV News (@WBTV_News) May 23, 2019
In a text message to WBTV, Winston wrote, “The salary structure of local policy makers is such that it really only makes sense for Charlotteans who have already accumulated wealth or don’t have to support families to serve. Otherwise you have to go through extraordinary measures to serve in this role,” said Winston.
Maybe he hasn’t heard how much police officers make.
How is it that politicians routinely call out police officers for how they handled a situation and yet now they’re attempting to take money for training out of the budget?
How can we continue to ask men and women to risk their lives on a daily basis for such a small salary?
Maybe instead of taking money from police and giving it to politicians, we do the opposite.
It’s time to recognize and reward the warriors that guard our streets while we sleep.
Because if we keep taking from law enforcement, who will be left to give back?