The city council promised to act on requests to defund and replace the police department - but first it wants to hear from its newly-hired police chief.
"Casey says the council isn’t ready just yet to talk about whether to pull money from the police department. They’re waiting for Chief Peete to be sworn in next week. Councilors believe Peete, who is Black, will bring a new perspective to the city government. "As a Black man who grew up in Chicago, he’s going to come in with different experiences than ourselves," Casey said. "Rather than have that discussion before he arrived, we really wanted to honor him and he comes with wanting to have broad community discussions on this." Peete wasn’t available for comment, but he recently wrote a letter to Montpelier residents that touched on the racial strife the country is facing. “There are tough robust conversations coming about how to face and deal with the issues within our country and its institutions and I look forward to not only having them but acting on them,“ Peete said. Casey says Montpelier is facing an estimated $1.4 million budget deficit due to COVID-19, so cuts will likely be made, but the council is still deciding where exactly to make those cuts.”
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