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320 Coalition

After an eventful Summer downtown with protests, teach ins and marches, most hosted by the 320 coalition the budget discussion last week made them feel unheard.

“The 3.20 coalition, on this call, consistently have called for the de-funding of the police which means reducing police budgets and redistributing funds, not abolishing the police which is replacing the police.”

“It is very hard to decide whether they really mean defund this or fund that or protect this, and not that.”

The proposed 2021 budget for the State College police department includes over 11 million dollars, a slight increase from last year. Some people believe this is what the department needs.

`We feel very safe in State College, we want our police to be fully funded. I also want to make a statement that I heard people think our police are racist, they are not.”

And others do not.

The coalition believes the money should be reallocated to mental health and social services Chief Gardner said that’s not possible without making cuts.

“Specifically we are asking for 2 million dollars to be taken away from State College Police and invested in social services, not just social services that will not be provided by police itself.”

Borough officials say over 150 people requested to speak Tonight on the budget, and one thing became clear, the community is divided, and council has a tough decision.

“I am speaking to remind you that your obligation is not just to look at what you’ve seen and have experienced in our community, but to listen and act on what our community is telling you we’ve experienced, we want, and we need.”

Following Tonight’s meeting, council will review the public comments and concerns on December 14.

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