The price of local law enforcement is coming under increased scrutiny amidst nationwide calls to defund or abolish the police. Smoky Mountain News took a deep dive into the implications and possibilities for reallocating funding for law enforcement in four counties in Western North Carolina.
But first, the newspaper had to determine what residents were already paying. Staff writer Cory Vaillancourt joins host Anita Rao to discuss the reporting and how the costs compare to social workers or other hypothetical replacements for armed officers. His piece is part of “Backing the Badge,” the newspaper’s ongoing series about law enforcement reform.