Norman City Council Finalizes 2022 Budget, Avoids Police Department Cuts

Wednesday, June 9th 2021, 8:01 am
By: Caleb Califano

NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The budget battle is finally over in Norman after city councilors voted not to cut $500,000 from the police department's budget.

The city council found a way to fully fund the police department along with a mobile crisis unit pilot program. It would be the first of its kind in Oklahoma.

Instead of taking $500,000 out of the police department’s budget, councilors discovered a double dip in the fire department funding totaling approximately $1 million.

They were able to redirect $630,000 of that money to the pilot program via the general fund.

Norman councilwoman Brandi Studley introduced the original proposal to cut money from the police budget, which police said would have led to staffing cuts.

Studley tells News 9 she's pleased with the outcome and thinks it will help law enforcement in the long run.

"We hope in the future this will allow law enforcement here to have some help and be able to respond to calls quicker," Studley said.

Norman citizens during the meeting voiced their concerns about how the mobile crisis unit will help cut down on crime, response times for Norman police as well as overdoses and deaths.

"My biggest fear is that, in the middle of all this crisis, discussions and money and budget, the people who are going to suffer is not going to be in our community,” Norman resident Chad Vincent said. “It's going to be victims of crimes, those in crisis, those who are being abused.”

The mobile crisis unit that will be used to respond to mental health and non-emergency calls.