During the September 27, 2023 City Commission meeting, a number of citizens voiced their concerns related to the city budget during the time allotted for public comment.
Several speakers protested the proposed budget passed by the City Commission, including a 14% increase in the TPD’s budget. The speakers claimed the City’s crime problem cannot be solved by the increase and will only make matters worse.
One speaker stated the crime problem could not be solved by “band aid solutions like over policing”. He continued stating, “We need to be supporting solutions like the affordable housing proposal, which the City Commission shot down previously.” Additionally, he suggested the Commission find solutions for the community’s most vulnerable groups.
Members of the Tallahassee Community Action Committee – which have labeled TPD Police Chief a “killer cop” – also spoke at the meeting.
A Tallahassee Community Action Committee member and school teacher explained that the children at her school are afraid to interact with the school resource officers, stating, “They know that interacting with police doesn’t end well in their community, so why would it end well in school?” She continued, “More than half of the City’s budget already goes towards our police, and our City budget towards policing has increased in the past 3 years higher than it’s ever been.” She concluded, “Just the other day there were armed people running around Tharpe Street, and it took the police almost 12 hours to find them. What are we giving police so much money for if they can’t even solve crime effectively.”
The President of the Tallahassee Community Action Committee stated, “I feel like Dailey, and as I like to call them his ‘lackies’, aren’t really concerned about crime. Because if you were concerned about crime, you would take a proactive approach, like solving homelessness, solving hunger, solving the mental health issues that plague this community, that’s how you solve crime in the City of Tallahassee, not a reactive approach, meaning, having cops come afterward and clean up the mess.”
Additionally, The Vice President of Students for a Democratic Society expressed his concern for the budget increase stating, “Crime doesn’t come out of thin air, it comes from a lack of resources. You’re trying to strip those resources from people. You do not represent the people of Tallahassee. If you vote to increase property taxes, you’re proving that.”