The ACLU of Vermont’s support for continued low funding of police fails to appreciate the connection between police staffing and reducing violent crime, Mayor Miro Weinberger said today.
In a September 9 letter to the City of Burlington, the ACLU points to the Burlington Police Department’s (BPD) own data showing crime is down significantly this year, in the midst of new police reform initiatives and a reduction in the police force. Also, BPD data shows the number of incidents is down 46% from 2016 thru 2021, the ACLU says.
Weinberger said in effect that the ACLU analysis misses the increase and impact of criminal violence.
“We welcome Mr. Diaz’s endorsement of the many progressive police reforms and innovative public safety investments that have driven the dramatic decrease in overall police incidents across the City since 2015,” Weinberger responded.
“However, his dismissal of the significance of the recent dramatic increase in gunfire incidents, and failure to understand that there is a direct relationship between police investment and violent crime is badly out of touch with the major challenges facing the Police Department today,” Weinberger said. “Mr. Diaz’s flawed analysis should not carry the day as the City confronts critical decisions about police recruitment, retention, and the authorized number of officers in the weeks ahead.”