To the Board of Broward County Commissioners and County Administrator Henry,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [YOUR CITY], Florida. I request that the County Commission support our community by:
- Defunding the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and reallocating money to programs and county-led initiatives that support education, rehabilitation, public health, and community-oriented activities.
- Rejecting expanded and militarized police budgets.
- Improving oversight and independent investigations to hold individual law enforcement officers and police departments accountable for misconduct.
Last May, Sheriff Tony asked for a 5.9% increase for the upcoming fiscal year, proposing an annual budget of $545.6 million, with more than 76% of that total or roughly $420 million being used to pay for personnel services. This year, he is again asking for a 5.2% increase, making the requested budget $571.3 million. 48% of that budget goes towards detention and law enforcement services, while only 4.3% goes towards community programs. Combined with federal and municipal-level funding, the full financial cost of policing in our area dwarfs support for resources that would enrich and protect Florida communities such as after-school youth programs, mental health and wellness, affordable housing, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and more.
I urge you to reimagine the way the justice system works in Broward County. This means investing in our community’s long-term health and prosperity and, in doing so, decreasing the demand for such an expensive police force. Until Broward County does this, we are failing to serve communities of color.
I urge you to adopt a budget that prioritizes community well-being through education, health care, and social services while redirecting funding away from police and incarceration. As one of your constituents, I’m asking you to take immediate, concrete action on this issue. I will be sure to tell my friends, family, and neighbors about your response.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE ]