According to the St. Louis Dispatch article, Ferguson agreed to DOJ mandated police reform but only if they could raise taxes, forcing citizens to pay for it.
According to a 2015 letter from the city, the cost of a federal monitor is estimated to be $350,000 in the first year. There will also be costs for training and equipment. The city had a $2.5 million operating deficit last year, and has been forced to tap into its reserves.
The budget fell by more than $1 million after the DOJ forced Ferguson to stop using fines and tickets to balance city budgets.
The millions of dollars in fines and fees paid by black residents served an ultimate goal of satisfying “revenue rather than public safety needs,” the Justice Department found.
Cities across America use police to ticket citizens and balance budgets.
Police Chief Michael Reaves of Utica, Michigan, says the role of law enforcement has changed over the years. “When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you’re a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues,” he says. “That’s just the reality nowadays.”
“On the one hand, there is an understandable desire to have productivity from your officers,” says Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. “But telling them that you want to arrest x number of people, you have to cite x number of people, it just encourages bad performance on the part of officers.”
For more info. read my article “America’s Hidden Secret: State and City Budgets Rely on Ticket & Court Revenue.”
“City officials also predicted that Ferguson would not be able to abide by the terms of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to reform its police department and municipal court, if the measures failed.”
As punishment for Ferguson residents not agreeing to pay for police reform. Police, will refuse to respond to some emergency calls and take longer to respond to emergency calls!
“A memo from City Manager De’Carlon Seewood listed dozens of services that would be affected. The municipal jail would close. So would a firehouse. The police department would not respond to certain calls. Emergency responses would be delayed by as much as 8 minutes.”
Arnetta Peebles, a 30-year Ferguson resident, said she had grown tired of the city viewing residents as obstacles.
But she opposed the tax increases simply because she could not afford them.
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