Dear Chairman Chuck DeHaven, the Frederick County Board of Supervisors, and Frederick County Elected Officers,
My name is [YOUR NAME], and I am a resident of Frederick County. Over the past few weeks, our nation has been gripped by protests calling for rapid and meaningful change with regard to police behavior, an end to racism and anti-Blackness, and immediate reform in how Black people are treated in America.
Our county has been involved in this call-to-action as well. In reviewing details from the fiscal year (FY) 2020 adopted budget, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) has utilized too much of our county’s resources. Over the past year, the Sheriff’s Office cost the county $15,860,951, which accounts for the largest portion of the public safety budget (39%). While we’ve been spending extraordinary amounts on policing, we have not seen large improvements to overall safety, public health, mental health, or affordability in our county.
Instead, we see financial resources that can and should be allocated elsewhere. Schools do not need more school resource officers; they need counselors and mental health providers. It was also saddening to see that last year, less than $500,000 was allocated for the local health department. As we are in the midst of a global pandemic, many have realized how underfunded public health has been across the country.
I call on you to slash the FCSO budget and instead use those extraordinary resources towards funding what Black and Brown communities need to be safe and healthy: COVID-19 relief, housing, health care, cooperative businesses, community centers, and community-led organizations and projects. We can be a beacon for other cities to follow if only we have the courage to change.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE]