City Council Proposes Giving Themselves A Raise By Cutting Police Training

Some Charlotte City Council members wanted the police training budget to be converted into a pay raise for themselves.

Charlotte, NC – Some city council members are in favor of cutting the police department’s Crisis Intervention Training budget in order to give themselves raises.

Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston requested that the city manager increase the salaries for the mayor and city council members during a meeting on May 22, WBTV reported.

“I would like to know what the county commissioners make in salary and I would like to ask that city council and the mayor salaries be put in line with what county commission makes,” Winston told City Manager Marcus Jones during the meeting.

City Councilman Matt Newton and City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield asked if it would be possible to cut $1 million of the $2 million that had been set aside for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Training, WBTV reported.

Police departments across the nation have increased their Crisis Intervention Training for officers because of an increase in law enforcement having to deal with people experiencing a mental health crisis on a regular basis.

The goal is to teach officers the de-escalation skills to deal with people experiencing a mental health episode who may be threatening to harm themselves or others during a police incident, reducing the chances that the incident will end with a deadly use of force, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

But Mayfield asked the city staff to repurpose half of the $2 million budget proposed for the specialized police training for city council pay raises instead, WBTV reported.

“We have some other pressing needs, I think it should be $1 million,” Mayfield told the city council.

Charlotte City Council members earn a salary of $19,809 per year, plus another $8,900 in auto and technology allowance, according to WBTV.

But the city council positions are not considered full-time jobs and those elected are expected to continue having outside jobs, despite complaints from some elected officials that they don’t have time, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Mecklenburg County Commissioners, on the other hand, early $28,336 per year in salary, plus an allowance of $17,656 for expenses, WBTV reported.

Braxton made the argument that under the current city council pay structure, citizens who were not independently wealthy found it challenging to serve their community.

“The salary structure of local policy makers is such that it really only makes sense for Charlotteans who have already accumulated wealth or don’t have to support families to serve. Otherwise you have to go through extraordinary measures to serve in this role,” Winston wrote in an email to WBTV.

But the money that Winston, Newton, and Mayfield are after for their own paychecks falls into the category of one-time funding and wouldn’t typically be repurposed for a recurring expense like salary, City of Charlotte Budget Director Phil Reiger explained.

Undeterred, Newton wanted to know how far the $1 million would go to cover the city council salary increases, WBTV reported.

“I would venture to say that would probably last quite a long period of time at which point from a recurring standpoint that could probably be figured out,” he suggested.

Mayfield also proposed taking $250,000 from the police training budget funding to use for corridor development from Tuckaseegee Road to Nations Ford Road, WBTV reported.

Both suggestions were shot down by city staff, but that didn’t stop the city council members from trying to boost their own incomes.

The proposal to cut the police department’s Crisis Intervention Training budget was raised again the next day during a City Council budget meeting, according to WBTV.

But before the end of the Thursday meeting, Mayfield, Newton and Winston had all back-peddled and tried to defend their suggestions to reduce officers’ crisis training.

Mayfield said she had tried to cut the police department’s training budget because she had been told the specialized training was voluntary.

She also complained that she hadn’t been given the specific details about the implementation of the crisis training, WBTV reported.

“If you say something is voluntary, voluntary isn’t good enough. We want to make sure all our officers are properly trained so that we have better outcomes with incidents,” Mayfield said in a quick about-face.

Jones, the city manager, explained the training would include an eight-hour tactical medical course for most police officers and allow for additional cultural efficiency training, WBTV reported.

However, Jones also said that proper Crisis Intervention Training for the entire department would cost more than $2 million, so another $1 million was budget for fiscal year 2021.

“I think in all fairness [Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney] needs some time to structure who gets what level of training,” the city manager said.

Chief Kerr told WBTV that he wanted to bring in mental health experts to explain Crisis Intervention Training best practices to the City Council.

“That’s the confusion. What I want you to know, what I want the community to know is the experts are going to talk in the next month about how it should be delivered and why and if they are to say all of them should get 40 hours of training, obviously that’s what I would want, but that’s not their recommendation,” the chief said.

Winston, who initially proposed the salary hike, tried to claim on Thursday that he never thought the pay increase for the city council should be taken out of the police training budget, WBTV reported.

“Of course I didn’t want any CIT training cut, I’m looking for expansion in CIT training,” he said.

Winston then proposed that other first responders, such as firefighters, should also receive the Crisis Intervention Training, something that would cost the city far more than the $2 million currently allocated, WBTV reported.

Newton claimed he had been out of the room when Mayfield proposed cutting the police training budget and said that he had no idea where they were getting the money for the proposed salary hike.

“I’m actually in favor of the $2 million in funding, I misunderstood what we were suggesting where the $1 million was coming from yesterday," he said.

Comments (49)
No. 1-18
Mig Alley
Mig Alley

So let me see if I've got this straight. The liberals want the police to use descalating techniques in order to diffuse situations. Now the liberals want to cut the training budget that teaches these techniques. I think that's brilliant. What could possibly go wrong. 🤔.

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

The same city council member that supported and participated in protests over the last shooting in Charlotte. Fuck off.

JBo
JBo

Politicians...deciding where the important priorities are.

Dmos1357
Dmos1357

Here's an idea...

Maybe they should just disband the entire PD. Then the council could absorb the payroll for the entire department, give themselves a HUGE raise and then protect the entire city themselves.

LynnSB
LynnSB

What a Bunch of Fing Igornat Morons !! Entire Police Department should get the Blue Flu for a Week -- Lets see how that sinks in !!

LEO0301
LEO0301

I'm pretty sure you were aware how much money you would earn when YOU ran for office! If you don't like the conditions of that position, take your name off the ballot.

Years ago commissioners where I worked funneled lots of money into the downtown area AFTER buying up all the vacant property. Nothing shady about that, I'm sure.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

Of course, lets make sure your own priorities are in order ......Lets see, first the Me, then when (or if) there is any left over ....then come my CON stit uants. (Emphasis on CON). Politicians like this have expensive hair weaves, ethnic braiding, hair products, gels, colognes , moisturizers, scrubs, combs, hair dryers, hair nets, massage sessions, steam baths, hot tubs, ......mmmm,....did I forget anything? ...............Movin on up ...to the East Side...I finally got me a piece of the pie ............Takin that ol Jefferson's theme song just a bit too literal there Braxton.

Zeddicus
Zeddicus

So let me get this straight, they are pay raises and don't get me wrong "maybe" they deserve a pay raise but to cut police training in order to do so? Right... that'll blow over well.

RunCop
RunCop

Liberal morons

Wish505
Wish505

WOW with a crime rate of 42 per one thousand residents, Charlotte has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 24. Within North Carolina, more than 83% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Charlotte. Really do these fools want to cut training for there officers.

trainbuff
trainbuff

So take the money out of the CIT budget to support your part time job which you knew going in was going to be a part time job and had issues.

Then you lie about where you said you wanted the money to come from? Typical politician for sure!

These men and women can't seem to run a city council without all this extra pay, incentives, and perks, yet our Founding Fathers managed to get together to establish an entire nation.

OldVet
OldVet

Stupido!

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

i like it when government spending is cut.

BoboLU
BoboLU

I am a recently retired employee of a Sheriff's Office. I was in Communications for 30 yrs. Our department had been going through every sworn and Communication personnel giving them CIT training. Let's just say that most of us were not excited to go to trading classes. As much as we like to get out of "hole" the communications is usually in kept away from every one else, training is not the way to do it. CIT training was more than we all expected, mental health patients were brought in themselves and told us all how the programs that were available in our county had help them through there issues several times. And how they were able to finally able to get out on their own. The classes and patients brought tears to our eyes at times and I can't tell you how many times I used that training to bring a person down from a place where no one not even them wanted them to be. I was able to give out phone numbers to the different facilities available to them that they were not aware of. I say CIT training for all agencies and personnel that deal with the public citizen

BlueProtects
BlueProtects

Swamp dwellers greed. Following Obambam's non-official anti-Cop policy.

Nighthawk644
Nighthawk644

Hahahahahahahahahaha......politicians....they ARE amusing.....well sometimes......other times just plain dumb.....like now.

cabman86
cabman86

Take it back to the old days when the city council worked for free

Omaeileen
Omaeileen

Barton Winston is the problem.