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How Much Does A Police Salary Add To Your Property Taxes? What About A Social Worker?

Waynesville police car.
Smoky Mountain News
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Smoky Mountain News investigated how hiring or firing of a street-level law enforcement officer would affect the wallet of average taxpayer in four Western counties.

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.

Grant Holub-Moorman coordinates events and North Carolina outreach for WUNC, including a monthly trivia night. He is a founding member of Embodied and a former producer for The State of Things.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
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