CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - After repeated demands from the public, the Charlottesville Police Department released budgets for the past five fiscal years, including FY2021. Now community members are saying the budget raises more questions than answers.
The People’s Coalition in Charlottesville is demanding a more comprehensive programming budget from the CPD, claiming almost $18 million in funding is totally unaccounted for. The demand is part of the ongoing Defund the Police movement.
Coalition Facilitator Harold Folley said the budget’s lack of information, including funding and revenue sources, is unacceptable.
“I mean, they get $18 million of taxpayer money and you know, most organizations and nonprofits have to jump through hoops to get money from the city,” Folley said.
The coalition claims in a letter than one to two-page budgets from the CPD are “woefully incomplete, to the point of being almost useless.”
Folley also said there are clear discrepancies in how Charlottesville City Council handles budget requests.
“One of the things that was really surprising to us, is the school has to show a 150-page budget. And they have to show their values, what they’re really going to spend their money on. CPD don’t have to do that,” Folley said.
Folley says even budget line items like “Other Supplies” and “Contractual Services” should be more specific to prevent secrecy or confusion.
“Even if they’re spending money on toilet paper, we should know how much they’re spending money on toilet paper,” Folley said.
City Councilor Lloyd Snook said in an email that he wants to have “substantive discussion about what CPD efforts should look like, not so much about dollars.”