We followed the numbers. We found out that the City of Toledo chooses to commit most of our resources not to quality healthcare, grocery stores, access to mental health facilities, services for the elderly, or support for children with disabilities, but to law enforcement.
The City of Toledo spends over $84,000,000.00 of our annual taxes to police us. For every ONE DOLLAR of our taxes, THIRTY THREE (.33) cents go directly to the Toledo Police Department. Operations such as Neighborhood Development receive only THREE (.03) cents from every tax dollar and the Youth Commission receives NOTHING.
There is no evidence to show that increased spending on policing brings about a reduction in crime. Despite the City's steadily increasing expenditure on policing, crime continues to increase in Toledo. Healthcare, housing, and mental health services are the foundation of safer communities - policing is not.
We, the undersigned, call on the City of Toledo to:
1) redirect budgetary resources away from policing, and toward programs and services that address basic human needs and create the conditions for Toledoans, as individuals and communities, to thrive;
2) increase public transparency around police misconduct, and TPD activities; and
3) provide ways for the public to independently hold TPD accountable.
Below, we list a set of demands to make the City of Toledo a more just and equitable society for ALL.
I. Funding Toledo: The City should reallocate half of the current funding from the 2021 police budget to invest in programs, services, and infrastructure that strengthen Toledo communities, prioritizing communities most impacted by historical and current institutional racism. That funding should be put into affordable housing, job training, education, healthcare and other community priorities. The communities most affected by police brutality should be the leaders and decision-makers in the reallocation process. To this end the City needs to, at a minimum, reduce the size of the police force by half and require Toledo Police Department Patrolmen and Command Officers to carry individual liability insurance for police malpractice. Funds moved from the police budget should be used in one or more of the following areas:
- Living wage jobs programs
- Grocery stores in every community
- Revitalization, beautification, and anti-blight grants targeting predominantly Black neighborhoods
- Infrastructure (fix the roads!) targeting predominantly Black neighborhoods
- Constructing and rehabbing safe and affordable housing in opportunity areas with diverse populations
- Universal pre-K
- Mobile clinics with regular visits to low-income neighborhoods
- Promoting reproductive justice by investing in comprehensive reproductive healthcare
- Creating opportunities for Addiction Treatment Centers to be equitably distributed
- Reparations to victims of police violence and their families
The allocation of funds moved out of the police budget should be overseen by the community.
II. Informing Toledoans: The City should be forthcoming with its expenditures and policing information. City of Toledo residents have the right to be fully informed about the activities and decisions made about their tax dollars and in their community. City of Toledo residents also have the right to be safe in their communities and should not live in fear of the City sharing their information with the federal government. To that end, the City should:
- Publicly share all records about police expenditures, purchases, grants, and weapons. All purchases, expenditures, grants, and obtained weapons shall be updated periodically on a monthly basis to the City’s page. This disclosure shall include the disclosure of any gear and equipment received by the City from any entity;
- Make all records related to complaints and misconduct allegations public;
- End the automatic destruction of officer misconduct records;
Not engage in any voluntary sharing of information with the federal government, including but not limited to JAG funding agreements. JAG information sharing is voluntary because the federal government does not have the authority to condition JAG funds on information sharing;
- Make public the amount spent on upkeep for military style equipment received through any Department of Homeland Security programs;
Publicly share all records pertaining to arrests, stops, and citations. Such records shall be updated on a monthly basis to the City’s page in excel format disaggregated by race, gender, and zip code; and
Publicly share all records pertaining to dispatch and placement of officers. Such records shall be updated on a monthly basis to the City’s page in excel format disaggregated by the race, gender, and number of officers periodically assigned to each zip code and location.
III. Accountability: The City should strengthen its Civilian Police Review Board. The purpose of a Civilian Review Board is to empower the community and establish oversight over the police by policed communities. To that end, the City should ensure that its Civilian Review Board has:
- Subpoena power;
- Independent prosecuturial power;
- No current or former law enforcement on the board;
- Voter elected board members;
- Power to investigate, discipline, fire police officers and administrators.
Accountability also requires an end to the use of paid administrative leave for misconduct investigations, an end to the removal of suspensions and reprimands from police service records, an end to automatic pay increases for officers who receive suspensions and reprimands, and a change to the policy that allows officers to remain on the force despite repeated reprimands and suspensions.
This is only the beginning.