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The Daily Planet's Opinion: Time to boost the APD budget; vote out council
Sunday, 02 May 2021 13:32

It it way past time to vote out Asheville’s mayor, City Council and one-party political machine and to substantially boost the budget for the beleaguered Asheville Police Department, which has lost an alarming 76 officers by resignation since the start of 2020. Sadly, the stampede of officer departures is not expected to end any time soon.

In the aftermath of the turnover, the total APD staff has dropped precipitously from its budgeted size of 238 officers in May 2020, while handling the same policing responsibilities as before. Now is the time ... and we are the people!

As Chief David Zack told the Daily Planet on April 27, “When taking both resignations and leaves into account, (the) APD is down 35-38 percent of sworn staff daily.”

In recent interviews, Zack has said that staffing is — by far — the top problem challenging his unit, which truly is, in our view, “a thin blue line,” and one deserving of our support.

Given that some protest groups — angry with a few apparent isolated (and certainly not “systemic”) cases of poor police behavior — call on the mayor and six council members to slice the APD’s budget (even more), size and scope and to think up some other alternatives to traditional policing methods, the turnover is not surprising. 

Worse, given that borderline-terrorist protesters have continuously taunted, threatened, thrown projectiles at, and fought with, “Asheville’s Finest,” while the city leadership apparently demands that the APD “stand down,” who would want such a job?

Councilwoman Kim Roney continues to strongly oppose anything related to the police, while neither Mayor Esther Manheimer nor other council members (who can always call on a police escort) EVER speak strongly or positively of the APD officers, who have taken an oath to put their lives on the line to defend and protect an increasingly insecure citizenry.



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