CHICO, Calif. - Across the nation, protestors have demanded the defunding of police departments, as well as police training reform to lower the chances of abuse of force and police brutality.
In Chico, City Manager Mark Orme said a new budget for the city was introduced on June 2, but saw no change in the funding of the police department.
“So no, we are still continuing to fund the department so that we can provide the essential services they provide already," said Orme.
Cities like Minneapolis and Los Angeles have introduced new budgets where police funding was cut.
“I believe there is always an opportunity to enhance police training,” says Former Chico Chief of Police Mike Maloney. “The challenge is the ability to change training is restricted by the availability of budget, and I can tell you that when times get tough, physically one of the first budgets to be frozen or grabbed away from the police department, is the training budget.”
Some Chico residents agree with Maloney saying training is the core of the issue.
“Even if there was no provoked violence, and if no [judgment] happens then I'd have to look at it and say, 'did the police force earn this budget or did they abuse it'," said one Chico man.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has recommended to legislatures to remove the carotid hold that blocks blood flow to the brain. States like New York have already banned the move, calling it the Eric Garner Anti-Choking Hold Ban Act.
Chico's proposed city budget was scrapped in early Spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. Council members are anticipating a $6 million dollar revenue loss.
The city council is expected to vote on the budget within the coming weeks.