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Salt Lake City Council to finalize police budget at Tuesday meeting

Posted at 8:02 AM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 10:02:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Council plans to finalize the police department's budget at Tuesday afternoon's meeting.

It comes as citizens across the country are calling to defund police departments as a result of George Floyd's death while being arrested in Minneapolis and other examples of police brutality.

Among the things under consideration in Salt Lake City is body cameras for every police officer with software to automatically start recording when officers leave their vehicles.

They also want enhanced de-escalation training for officers and to hire three social workers to help in non-violent situations.

The council was supposed to announce their decision last week, but decided to postpone it because of the large public response to the issue.

Nothing is finalized yet, but council members have shed some light on the possible outcomes of today's meeting.

"There have been a lot of calls from residents who are asking us to defund the police, to decrease their budget and reallocate those resources into different community-based models," Chad Wharton who represents District 3 said. "So the council will be considering that and a number of things as part of that finalization but that's the main unresolved issue at this point."

Council members say Mayor Erin Mendenhall has proposed a flat budget, meaning there will be no increases from the last year.

The council is encouraging city residents to submit their comments.

The meeting will begin this afternoon and goes into the evening so you still have some time to voice your opinion on the council's website or on its Facebook page.

The council will also consider strengthening the civilian review board and a city wide equity plan.

It will double down on diversity within the Salt Lake Police Department and Community Connections Center.

Council members will also consider changes to state code on the use use of deadly force and the legal standard for what is "reasonable" use of deadly force.