STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY (WTAJ) — The State College Borough Council voted in favor of using funds to creating a civilian response team and towards a civilian oversight board.
In a divisive 4 to 3 vote, the council decided on this project that will cost more than $300,000
Councilman Evan Myers says “George Floyd was murdered, Breonna Taylor was murdered, Osaze Osagie was shot. Black people are almost 4 times more likely to be arrested for similar crimes as whites and 7 times more likely to be arrested on the very same drug charges as white citizens.”
However, there was some disagreement and a heated argument between the council and concerned citizens. Councilwoman, Theresa Lafer says “I live in a community that has had real problems when our police are short.”
State College resident, Monet Smith says due to the pandemic, the State College population is decreasing as well as the need for policing. Smith tells the council “we need to look at what is going to have a direct impact on our community citizens… We need to be realistic in terms of what issues we’re going to have over the next few years.”
Council says they will work with the area’s mental health task force in hiring civilian response team members.