L.A. City Council Moves to Cut Funding to LAPD
Ongoing demands for budget cuts at police departments has led the Los Angeles City Council to vote on cutting the hiring of police officers. The council pushed forward the effort to reduce spending by a vote of 12 to 2. The low number of police officers that will be on the street by next summer is a level not seen since 2008. The LAPD will be cut down to just 9,757 officers.
This decision reduced the LAPD’s budget by $150 million. The majority of the cuts will come from that which is used for overtime pay. Councilman Curren Price was a strong supporter of the cuts saying that this money would be better used to support programs for Black, Latino, and disenfranchised communities.
The two opposing votes came from Joe Buscaino and John Lee. Buscaino thought the measure the council took was the opposite of what should have happened. Instead of a budget-cut, more money for a stronger policing program in the community was the right way to proceed. In April Mayor Eric Garcetti wanted a boost the budget for the LAPD by 7%, but after the reaction to the George Floyd killing, he changed his views.
The impact that these cuts in the budget will have on the LAPD as well as in the community is yet to be seen. Annually, Los Angeles spends approximately $3 billion every year on the LAPD. Included in this number is the cost of pensions and other miscellaneous expenses. Those in favor of cuts to the law enforcement were wanting at a minimum of a 90% cut to their budget but even moreso, a complete dismantling of the police.
The L.A. City Council continues to explore ways to use other city workers instead of the LAPD in cases where the police are traditionally dispatched. Still, many questioned if the cuts to police presence would be more harmful to the city’s most in-need neighborhoods. Residents raised the issue of looking at reforms over cutting the numbers of police on the streets.
Where is Defunding of the Police Happening in the United States?
- Baltimore, Maryland will cut almost $22 million for the police in many departments such as patrol, special operations, administration, compliance, and recruitment.
- Hartford, Connecticut will be cutting $1 million of its budget for the police.
- Portland, Oregon is cutting $15 million from its law enforcement budget.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is cutting $33 million in police funding.
- Seattle, Washington will reduce every department associated with the police by 10%.
- New York City, New York has not given exact numbers on the cuts they will be implementing but according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the cuts to come will be significant.
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