On May 29 and again on June 4, I heard Mayor Orr and Chief of Police Kozak publicly discuss the Cheyenne city budget cuts to the police force. A great deal of the demands for change in the national conversation around police brutality includes cutting police department budgets by decreasing spending for police militarization. Budget cuts are always tough but if it leads towards a group of people, trained on racism, inclusivity and biases -- who are committed to serving and protecting all of the people in the community -- so be it.
My son recently said to me, “the police need to think of themselves less as heroes and more as servants.” With so many civilians ready to step up and meet the challenge of protecting property and the peace, why do we need a police force? Maybe a better way is to develop and fund community based policies and legislation that increases the overall health and well-being of everyone in our communities.
Mayor Orr, you are dealing with a budget deficit and loss of jobs in our city. I appreciate that you acknowledge this; however, what are you doing to bring new businesses into the city? What are you doing to encourage small business growth? What do you imagine for the future health and well-being for our community?
Also on June 4, Governor Gordon discussed similar state budget cuts. Governor, I have the same questions for you as I have for Mayor Orr; what’s the plan sir, for sustaining our state finances and protecting the commons for our posterity?
Finally, for all of you, I have these two questions: Will you take a knee for all of the people who have died as a result of excessive police force? Will you lay down on the ground for eight minutes and 46 seconds to recognize the death of George Floyd?
KYLE CAMERON, Cheyenne
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