APD Funding Request About More Than Just Hiring More Officers

May 31, 2017

The Asheville city council is scheduled to adopt a budget for the coming fiscal year at its next meeting on June 13th.  Among the many spending requests lawmakers received is one from the Asheville Police Department, which is seeking $1-million to hire 15 new officers.  Police chief Tammy Hooper says it's needed to address a surge in crime in the downtown area, most likely caused by increases in tourists visiting the city.  But Asheville Citizen-Times reporter Joel Burgess found there's more to the request than just the downtown crime surge.  His reporting found the Asheville police department has a very high attrition rate, and the funding request could help alleviate that, through either the hiring of new officers or pay increases for those currently on the force.  The council's vote comes as a group of community activists has called on lawmakers to instead spend the $1-million on anti-poverty programs and public transit.