Defunding police

A group of Athens County residents protested in front of the county’s courthouse Monday evening. Some attendees of the event also spoke during the public participation segment of the Oct. 5 meeting of Athens City Council. Photo by Sydney Dawes.

Athens City Council on Monday began the process of affirming the renewal of the Athens Police Department’s union contract upon first reading where the police chief dismissed claims made by a faction of community activists who say the agreement allows police to shield themselves from public accountability.

The contract, which will remain in effect until 2023 upon approval, remains largely unchanged from the previous agreement. Clauses outlining officer compensation and insurance benefits were amended, among other technicalities. Council must revisit the contract during two future meetings for second and third readings before it’s approved.

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