Dear Howard County Officials,
My name is [YOUR NAME], and I am a resident of [YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD/DISTRICT]. I am writing to demand the Howard County Council adopt a city budget that redirects funding away from the police to more community-oriented forms of public safety and wellbeing.
For 2020, Howard County has allocated $127 million to the police, which is a staggering amount of money . Though the county has succeeded in prioritizing community enrichment, with an astounding 57.51% of the general budget directed toward education, the current distribution of funds fails to adequately meet the needs of community members . In recent years, the county has witnessed a significant rise in opioid overdoses. Yet, departments intended to promote community wellness including Community Services and the Health Department only receive 6% and 1% of the budget, respectively .
I demand that the County Council move to defund the Howard County Police Department and redirect them towards programs proven to more effectively promote a safe and equitable community: mental health services, drug rehabilitation services, affordable housing programs, and more. I demand a budget that prioritizes nonviolent, community-based approaches to public health and safety.
Howard County needs to continue building a community that fosters health and wellness, we must reimagine a form of public safety that favors prevention and rehabilitation over punishment.
Thank you for your time,
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]