City Councilman Chris Jerram proposes $2 million dollar budget cut for Omaha Police

Olivia Palmer

City Councilman Chris Jerram said he supports the “defund the police” movement and showed his support by proposing a $2 million cut from the city’s police budget at the Tuesday City Council meeting discussing the city budget.

While Jerram said he recognized that his proposal would likely not get passed, he brought this up to start the debate and discussion on how the city spends its money, saying he “owes it to constituents to have the conversation.”

Other Council Members, like Aimee Melton, said this feels “like a punishment”, saying that these cuts aren’t needed, and other areas of the city don’t need as much funding as Jerram proposed. Additionally, Council Member Ben Gray, who is voting against the proposal, stated this would harm the small percentage of officers of color, saying they will be the ones let go first which reverses the work done to improve numbers of officers who are people-of-color over the past few years. 

The proposal did pass with the vote being 4-3 in favor of the cut and is now being moved to Mayor Jean Stothert to pass or veto.