Dear Phoenix Mayor and Council members,
My name is [NAME] and I live in [DISTRICT OR CITY]. I am writing to you as a constituent who is disturbed by the injustices and brutality carried out by police forces across the country, and particularly in the Phoenix PD.
In February, the council approved a community review board and Office of Accountability and Transparency. They were given the power to:
Investigate and provide independent reports on police use-of-force incidents and citizen complaints
Make disciplinary recommendations for individual officers to the Police chief
Recommend policy changes based on research and community feedback
When the council approved the plan, it anticipated it would cost about $3 million, but in Wednesday’s 2020-21 budget decision it only received $400,000. In 2019, The Phoenix PD received $721 million from the City of Phoenix. The current City Manager recommendation is $741 million, a $20 million increase, yet they can’t provide $3 million to OAT.
Ending police brutality should be a budget priority. Justice should be a budget priority. Health and safety--which are proven to be better promoted through social programs and education than policing--should be a priority. I demand that you, as a representative of your Phoenix constituents, fully fund OAT, and redirect a meaningful portion of the Phoenix PD budget to social services, cultural programs, and education, which are backbones of any healthy community. Thank you.