(COLORADO SPRINGS) — This November, Colorado Springs voters will decide if a new Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) training academy should be built, after City Council voted 7-1 on Tuesday, Aug. 22 to approve the ballot measure.

On Tuesday, City Council listened to a detailed plan from City leaders on why taxpayers should approve the measure, which would spend nearly five-million dollars on a new police training academy. If passed by voters, the City would use excess tax revenue for the construction of the new academy instead of refunding Colorado Springs Utilities customers under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Mayor Yemi Mobolade continues to stress why safety measures need to be put into place, especially as more people move into the Pikes Peak Region, and is passionate about this measure.

Before voting, Council members heard from members of the community who were for and against the measure. Some community members have created an online petition called ‘Reform the Academy,’ which has more than three-thousand signatures. The community members believe that the City cannot build a new police facility without bending and building relationships in the community, which they say, have not yet been mended.

Other community members want the money to go toward mental and behavioral health support.

CSPD and Mayor Mobolade both share the hope that a new academy would help both recruit and retain talent in Southern Colorado. Councilmember Dave Donelson of District 1 voted no on the measure.