JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Police reform and defunding the police have been sentiments being shared by protesters across the country, including cities in the tri-state area.
Jersey City officials are working changes in their town. The city’s mayor, Steven Fulop, told PIX11 Morning News that defunding the police would not necessarily work with their town.
In Jersey City, 99% of the police budget is salaries for officers, so the officials take away funding, that means decreasing the amount of officers in the force, according to Fulop.
The mayor called that “counterproductive” because the newest officers would be let go, a lot of which are from minority groups.
Jersey City also approved May 25 to become Black Lives Matter Day, giving a “symbolic gesture” to show that the city is inclusive. Fulop noted there are still challenges, “but when we can shine light on the conversation” and further bring progress.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Fulop said “we’re ready” to further reopen. Jersey City has expanded outdoor seating, but the mayor said the city needs help from the governor due to restrictions that are hurting businesses.