Burlington City Council to vote on budget with police cuts

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The city council in Vermont’s largest city is expected to vote on the mayor’s proposed budget that includes a cut of about 9% to the police department. Some activists were calling for even deeper cuts amid outrage over racial injustice and police brutality across the country.

The budget proposed by Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger includes $1 million for the Racial Equity & Justice Fund, up from the previous $300,000 he had proposed. It calls for moving parking enforcement from police to the Department of Public Works and reallocating the department’s crime analyst into another department budget.

The budget also would leave four police officer vacancies that were expected to be filled in January empty. The department currently has 91 officers, with one on sick leave, and 12 uniformed officer vacancies, according to the city's Chief Administrative Officer Katherine Schad.

The Racial Justice Alliance is calling a 30% reduction in uniformed officers.