Voters in Belleair, Florida, approved a charter amendment to require an unanimous vote of the town commission to abolish a municipal department. The charter amendment also requires a unanimous vote, which must be done by ordinance, to abolish the police department. The ballot measure required that actions to abolish the police department be passed by ordinance so that residents could have the option to file a veto referendum. With 100% of precincts reporting, the vote was 1,249 (80.48%) in favor and 303 (19.52%) against.
On Dec. 7, 2021, the Belleair Town Commission voted 5-0 to refer the charter amendment to the ballot for March 15, 2022. Town Manager J.P. Murphy stated, “A few years ago, when the town was going through its strategic planning process, putting some additional protections in for the police department in terms of having the voters being able to opine on the matter should we decide to get rid of the police department was an item identified by the commission.”
In 2022, Ballotpedia is covering local measures that appear on the ballot for voters within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S., all state capitals, and all local California jurisdictions. Ballotpedia is also covering a selection of notable police-related and election-related measures outside of the top 100 largest cities.
In 2020 and 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 32 notable local police-related ballot measures. In 2020, voters approved 20 local police-related ballot measures in 10 cities and four counties within seven states. In 2021, voters approved seven of 12 local police-related ballot measures in 10 cities and one county within nine states.
The next local policing-related ballot measure that Ballotpedia is covering is the Austin, Texas, Marijuana Decriminalization and Prohibit No-Knock Warrants Initiative, which will be decided on May 7, 2022.