Dear Mayor Tuck and City Council Members,
My name is [YOUR NAME], and I am a resident of Hampton. In recent weeks, our nation has been gripped by protests calling for rapid and meaningful reevaluation of the role of policing in our communities and an end to institutionalized racism. Accordingly, it has come to my attention that the budget for 2021 is being decided as these protests continue.
Hampton PD receives a disproportionate amount of our city's financial resources. In FY20, the Hampton Police Division has a budget of almost $25 million. While we’ve been spending extraordinary amounts on policing, we have not seen significant improvements to safety, homelessness, mental health, or affordability in our city.
I call on you to meaningfully restrict the Hampton PD budget and instead use those extraordinary resources towards programs proven to be more effective at promoting safety and social equity than policing and incarceration: community-based mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, affordable housing programs, and more. By doing so, there may be a greater impact on providing homes to people experiences homelessness, something that is felt most by our Black neighbors and veterans.
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 NUMBER]