Roanoke City leaders adopt budget despite citizen requests to defund police
ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke City Council approved next year’s budget, despite requests from the pubic to delay the vote, hold a public hearing and defund the police department. City leaders ultimately said that delaying the vote isn’t an option because it would delay all public services, not just police. The FY21 budget is nearly $1.4 million short compared to last year’s budget due to economic losses from COVID-19. Education is still the biggest piece of the budget: $82,788,981 million will go to Roanoke City Public Schools and maintain funding levels for Early Childhood Learning programs through Libraries. Ideas included holding town halls, sending out a trust survey, starting new public safety departments that are run by unarmed citizens, or finding ways to be more transparent.