There is a current call across the nation to defund the police and to use that money for other things such as human services or education:
“Community groups advocating for defunding have put forward differing strategies, some merely opposing police budget increases, others advocating mass reductions, and some fighting for full defunding as a step toward abolishing police forces. Some initiatives are tied to the fight to close prisons. All are pushing for a reinvestment of those dollars in services.”
What does Brattleboro’s police budget look like?
In Brattleboro’s just-adopted FY21 General Fund budget, the total expenditures (and revenue, of course) are $18,444,632.
Of this total, line items for police expenses total $2,304,730 and police revenue comes to $118,441. Dispatch adds another $555,575 to the total policing expenses, though some of that is for other emergency services.
Brattleboro Police and Dispatch account for 32.4% of the Town’s employee salaries and benefits. the largest of any department. The Fire Department is second at 23.4%. DPW is third at 14.1%.
Salaries and benefits for every other department are under 10%. For example, Rec & Parks is 6.7%, the Library is 6.5%, the Town Clerk is 1.8%, and Planning is 3.1%.
Of the $2,304,730 police budget, $2,000 is designated for crime prevention. $2,000 is set aside for postage. $28,995 is for holiday pay. $1,525,100 is salaries. See the attached image (or look at the budget, link below) for the full details.
Brattleboro’s Human Services budget comes to $190,105 this year.