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Local activists weigh in on Huntsville’s proposed budget

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:30 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Huntsville City Council will be taking a closer look at the mayor’s proposed budget at their meeting tomorrow. Local activists are also weighing in on the potential new programs

The mayor wants to put more funding into training police on how to respond to calls from people with mental health issues. Members with Citizens Coalition for Justice Reform, or CCJR, told us they’re on board. They say they’ve been fighting for programs just like this for a while now and they’re excited it will get more support. The mayor also wants to add more police officers to the force. According to NYU researchers that generally benefits some places. But when it comes to cities in the south with larger Black communities, data shows it leads to more arrests for minor crimes without any benefits.

Natalie Bishnoi, with CCJR, says the way to reduce crime isn’t by more punishment, but more investment into us.

“When you’re not having to worry about transportation, shelter, food it does ease the mental health stress. So, I think if we balanced the funds more we would see a big difference in mental health calls, Bishnoi said.

The council will look at the budget on Thursday, it will have to pass a budget by September 23rd to kick off the new fiscal year, which starts October first.

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