Dear Mayor Gaylor Bairdand Members of City Council,
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a resident of [NEIGHBORHOOD/CITY]. I write this letter to urge you to begin defunding and demilitarizing the Lincoln Police Department. LPD’s budget has increased by 14% since the 2017-2018 budget. For the 2019-2020 year, the portion of the general fund spent on LPD was just under 25%. LPD’s increased funding is a direct harm to other necessary and more needed services in our city. Other services including parks and recreation, transportation and utilities, and urban development take much less out of the general cost for the city: 9.8%, 1.3%, and 0.5% respectively (Source: 2018-2020 Council Adopted Biennial Operating Budget). LPD is a direct cost to other services this city desperately needs.
As Lincoln residents, we therefore demand that you take immediate action to ensure the following:
- Reduce LPD's allocation from the General Fund.
- Reallocate those funds into housing, jobs, youth programs, restorative justice, mental health workers, and community development programs to keep the community safe.
- Disallow unauthorized overtime by LPD.
- Discontinue use of General Fund dollars to pay for settlements due to police murder, misconduct, and negligence.
Lincoln cannot wait any longer for a budget that meets the needs of its residents. The only way to achieve this is to take immediate steps to defund LPD.
[YOUR NAME][YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR EMAIL][YOUR PHONE NUMBER]