RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After the Asheville City Council voted to defund its police department, Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson) announced his intent to file legislation that would defund cities that defund police.
“When the legislature reconvenes next year, the first bill I will introduce will defund cities that defund the police. We must maintain law and order. While municipalities have control over their local budgets, the state legislature also has control over its budget, and I intend to help create an environment where public safety is a top priority,” Edwards said.
Edwards says he has long supported law enforcement and “vehemently” opposes the Asheville City Council’s decision to defund its police department.
Thirty one police officers in the western North Carolina city have resigned from the force since June.
Police Chief David Zack told The Citizen Times that the number is “unprecedented.”
The resignations amount to loss of more than one sworn officer for every ten in the force of 283 – or 13% of the force. The numbers do not take into account retirements.
Zack attributed the departures to a lack of support and a “very vocal” opposition to law enforcement following the death of a Black man in Minneapolis police custody earlier this year.
“Police officers protect my family and yours. Defunding police and hammering their morale until dozens resign will result in more crime, not less. The far-left Asheville City Council’s decisions are reckless and endanger public safety,” Edwards said.
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