Beacon residents tell city council to cut police budget in half

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BEACON – A dozen Beacon residents told the city council during its Monday night Zoom-cast session that the police department budget should be slashed by 50 percent and that those funds should be used for social and community programs. The city has 35 police officers.

The recent killings of black men in Minneapolis and Atlanta, served as the backdrop for local residents to call out what they perceived as police insensitivity by the Beacon force.

One resident, Justice McCray, expressed their concerns with the way law enforcement operates in the city.

“I am a black resident of Beacon, New York and I can say with certainty that the presence of the police force in Beacon is intimidating if not a bit scary. I’m scared whenever I see a police officer and I know I am not the only person that feels the same way. I have attended several protests at this point and heard firsthand horror stories from people that look like me and it’s really uncomfortable to hear how many people in our community are hurting right now,” the resident said.

Other residents said the police should not carry weapons in non-violent situations.

The city council took no action following expression of the concerns by the residents.