Statement from Council President Sabina Matos in Response to Mayor Saying We Can’t Have “Both” New Police Academy and Reinvestment:
“I wish the Mayor would spend more time collaborating and resolving to address this issue of rampant violence in our City in partnership with the City Council rather than taking such a prideful contrarian stance.
When a shooting occurred on Dorchester Avenue, just a stone’s throw away from both of our homes just five days ago, I reached out to the Mayor and asked him how we could work together to address this issue plaguing every corner of our City. I have yet to receive a response.
His tone-deafness on the issue of violence is alarming and concerning. His quip of not being able to have it “both ways” (referring to a police academy and reinvestment) is a fallacy, simplistic, divisive, and disingenuous.
It is possible to both support a new academy to maintain a healthy number of police officers to replace those at-risk of retiring or leaving, while also diverting funds into initiatives and programs that better serve the needs of the community. Furthermore, it’s through new academies that we are able to diversify the department to better reflect the demographics of our communities.
I stand by my statement that we as a Council cannot pass a status quo police budget and that investments need to be made wisely and guided by the principles of preservation of public safety and community empowerment.
Now is not the time to pick a fight, Mayor. Please call me back and let’s talk about solutions.”
President-Providence City Council