100 people show up to rally before Tuesday night’s council meeting to support the West Melbourne Police Department.
About half of them were either active or retired police officers to show their support. Brevard County Sheriff Jack Parker was also on hand for the hearing in response to the police department budget cuts.
The cuts were proposed by City Council members Michael Hazlett and Stephany Eley. The city manager did not include the cuts in the revised budget, but the suggestion drew an outcry from many residents.
Hazlett and Eley suggested making cuts to the department’s command staff, saying there were too many supervisors for the number of patrol officers it had.
However, some in the crowd, like Frank Gallagher, 80, a retired New York City police officer who lives in West Melbourne, still opposed the suggested cut.
“You need control no matter how well versed an officer is on the street. You need control to guide the man along, making sure he’s prepared both mentally and physically,” he said.