Norman City Council meeting ends 11 hours later with $865K cut from police department

Norman City Council

The Norman City Council holds a meeting on whether to defund the city’s police department.

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – The Norman City Council held a special meeting Tuesday night to vote on the city’s budget for fiscal year 2021, which included proposed cuts to the police department.

Norman Citizens for Racial Justice called on Mayor Breea Clark and the city manager to defund and demilitarize the Norman Police Department.

City council member Alexandra Scott initially proposed a $4.5 million cut to police. The money would have been re-allocated in part to public safety sales tax and police sensitivity training.

The city council meeting started just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday and finished just before 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

Council members say it’s the longest meeting they’ve ever been in but they wanted to give everyone a chance to speak.

At the end of the meeting, city council members voted to cut $865,000 from the police salaries and benefits portion of the department’s budget.

$630,000 will go to community outreach and $235,000 will go toward hiring an internal auditor to do regular budget reviews of the city budget.

The total Norman Police budget is $31 million dollars.

Throughout the night, amendments to the police budget were made.

One of them would have cut about $4.5 million dollars and eliminated 64 sworn officer positions.

However, that amendment failed.

There was also a proposal to take $300,000 from the budget and put that toward mental health and public health services, which passed.

Council members avoided cutting anything from the police equipment budget.

The city council will meet again next month to discuss the specifics of those cuts.

Clarification: The total police budget was added to this story.

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