The impact of defunding police in Middle Georgia
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– The defunding of public safety offices has been a hot button issue in the US.
Defunding would mean less money put towards weapons and vehicles for police officers, and more money towards community outreach and social services.
In Macon-Bibb County, the Sheriff’s Office budget for the next year is $49 million. Included in that cost is at least 40 hours of training for each deputy, equipment, and protective gear.
Sheriff David Davis says defunding is not an option. “As far as talking about defunding law enforcement or defunding the Sheriff’s Department is a non-starter for me, because we perform an essential service and this community needs us to be out there to stop the bad people from terrorizing and harming this community.”
Sheriff Davis says defunding would lead to major cuts in the number of officers and community resources.
According to District 8 commissioner, Virgil Watkins, Macon-Bibb County did cut funding as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but not in response to recent calls for reform.
“We have been blessed with a Sheriff’s Department that so far has proved to be reactive to the community’s needs. I was so proud to see Sheriff Davis and several of his officer, when the protests broke out here they were not only keeping everyone safe, they were actually protesting along with the marchers,” said Watkins.
Macon-Bibb County just finalized its budget for 2021 last week. The budget decreases funding for the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office by $1.3 million dollars to help recoup costs from the COVID-19 pandemic.