Dear County Executive Steuart Pittman and Anne Arundel County Council Members,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [NEIGHBORHOOD]. I write this letter to urge you to defund the Anne Arundel County Police Department and reallocate funds into projects that prioritize community services such as health, rehabilitation, housing, employment.
Maryland has the highest number of Black men incarcerated per capita. It is crucial that we address the policies in which systematic racism has become a norm. Why should the police be funded given their history of violence within our community? Every member of our community deserves a quality of life that promotes safety, justice and the ability to live without fear from the government/police.
The Anne Arundel County Police Department is to be allocated 11% of the 2021 budget. $88 million of the allocated $156 million will be going to Patrol Services. This includes School Resource Officers, who "partner with County Board of Education to assist with identifying students at risk for academic failure, truancy, and/or involvement in criminal activities," directly linking students to the school to prison pipeline. Meanwhile, the entire department Social Services is allocated 3.2% of the total 2021 budget (Source: Anne Arundel County FY2021 Proposed Budget Message and Current Expense Budget).
As a resident of Anne Arundel County, I demand that you take immediate action to ensure the health, safety & wellness of our people.
Defund the Police Department.
Invest in social services that allow help and guidance to those in need, rather than incarceration.
Invest in housing, jobs, youth programs, restorative justice, and mental health workers to keep the community safe.
Invest in community development initiatives and programs.
Invest in environmental restoration and policy.
Anne Arundel County is filled with beautiful humans, souls, wilderness areas and opportunities. As the 5th largest county in Maryland, we residents demand change! A reform that reflects the people.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]