Winston-Salem City Council Discusses Shifting Some Police Funding To Social Programs
Members of Winston-Salem's City Council discussed shifting funding away from the police department at a meeting Monday.
The idea came from Council Member James Taylor Jr., who suggested funneling $1 million from the police budget into social programs. The money would be freed up by freezing 15 vacant police officer positions, which city officials said were unlikely to be filled this year regardless.
Taylor emphasized the city does not intend to “dismantle the police department.”
“A lot of times in society, we think we have to choose one or the other. But I think we can adequately support and fund the police department, and then adequately promote social programs and ways to reduce recidivism risk and poverty," said Taylor. "I think this is a unique way that we found to be able to do just this.”
Under the proposal, the $1 million would go towards employment and housing programs. It received unanimous support from the Public Safety Committee and was forwarded for review by the full council.