Raleigh Police Protective Association questions why $150K+ will be spent on art for new training facility

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A new multi-million dollar training facility for Raleigh Police won’t open until late 2020, but the Raleigh Police Protective Association is questioning why the city is spending more than $150,000 on art to decorate the building.

“A safe community should be a priority,” said Rick Armstrong. “Within the police department we have good equipment and great training.”

Rick Armstrong with the Raleigh Police Protective Association says the growth of Raleigh made the new facility a necessity, but he questions why city leaders are spending so much on art.

“If you’re going to spend that much money on artwork, why aren’t you spending that kind of money on your employees?” said Armstrong.

CBS 17 took that question to City Hall, where a city spokesperson said that in 2009 the Raleigh City Council made it a requirement that .5% of the budget on new public buildings be spent on art, and raised that figure to 1% in 2016.

“If the city feels thats a benefit and the city wants to spend their money that’s their right,” said Armstrong. “I think the priority should be spending money on rank and file police officers, and other employees. When they see that kind of money being spent towards art and they’re only bringing home $40,000 or $45,000 a year, they’re asking, ‘Am I a priority or is the art work your priority?'”

Armstrong suggested that money would be better spent retaining Raleigh police officers.

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