Cuts to Birmingham Police, Parks & Rec under city council budget proposal

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham Police and the Parks and Rec department have written letters to Mayor William Bell protesting reported budget cuts proposed by the City Council.

The Birmingham Police letter, written by Chief A.C. Roper, states that the cuts would remove $750,000 from their budget, bringing the department below its operating budget from five years ago.

With a homicide rate sitting at 60, new proposed budget cuts by the city council could effect Birmingham Police.

“This is potentially very, very devastating and it’s drastic, and it’s very alarming,” said William Parker, Birmingham City Councilman for District 4.

The proposed budget would cut nearly a million dollars from a concerned police department that is desperate for new officers and equipment.

RELATED: Birmingham Police Department needs 100 new officers

“We have to do everything we can to make sure that children can play outside without the threats and fear of danger,” Roper said.

The idea of children playing outside is also at risk, as the proposed budget would cut $5.6 million from the city Parks and Rec department.

“This would be drastic, devastating and essentially it will shut down the parks throughout the city of Birmingham, and that’s point blank,” Parker said.

A potential shut down means no access for residents to community centers and parks – while cuts to police funding could make it harder to fight an ongoing issue of crime.

“[We have to] address the concerns of the residents, which are police and parks,” Parker said. “We need to make sure they are fully funded, and we need to also make sure that we move forward.”

You can read Roper’s full letter below

Birmingham Police Budget letter

You can read the Parks and Rec letter here:

Birmingham Parks and Rec Budget Letter

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