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The City of Durham’s budget includes a nearly 10% increase for the police force

DURHAM, NC (WNCN) – Durham City Manager Wanda Page proposed her $568.9 million budget to the City Council Monday night.

Will proposed budget make Durham safer?

“It’s no secret that Durham, like many other cities in America, has great concerns about violent crime, while also having concerns about our country’s history of policing and the impact it has on people of color,” Page said.

The proposed budget for the Durham Police Department is more than $77.1 million, a 9.8 percent increase from last year.

When it comes to gun violence, ShotSpotter has budgeted nearly $200,000 for a year-long pilot. The technology detects gunshots and alerts the police.

As of May 7, 92 people had been shot dead in Durham, with 17 dead, according to the Durham Police Department. That’s three more people than this time last year and more than double the number of people killed in the same period in 2020.

Page proposes funding for seven more full-time positions to support alternative pilot programs to respond to the 911 call. These programs are due to start as early as next month and will include crisis call rerouting, care navigators, co-response from a police officer and a psychiatrist.

On property taxes, Page proposes a 0.6 cent increase in the tax rate, from 55.17 cents per $100 of property value to 55.77 cents per $100 of property value. She said the owner of a home worth just over $235,000 would pay about $1,311 in city property taxes over the next year.

She said this will help support staff pay rises.

“Durham wasn’t immune to the so-called big resignation,” Page said.

She proposes a 3 percent pay rise for city employees and is bringing back a merit system for additional pay rises that was suspended during the pandemic.

“To move forward as a city, caring for city employees must be a high priority,” Page said.

A public hearing will be held on June 6th at 7pm to provide feedback on the budget proposal. The final adoption of the budget will take place on June 21st.

https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/durham-county-news/durham-city-budget-plan-has-nearly-10-increase-for-police/ The City of Durham’s budget includes a nearly 10% increase for the police force

DUSTIN JONES

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