A California city is set to buck the "defund" trend as it plans to unveil its highest-ever police budget. The proposed police budget is set just shy at $165.8 million, a roughly $9.4 million increase from last year’s amended budget.
The capital of California has revealed its new 2021-2022 budget, costing a total of $1.3 billion, and it requests more money than ever for their men and women in uniform.
Sacramento City Manager Howard Chan presented the new annual budget, which is set to start with the next fiscal year July 1. One notable item was the police budget, which has continued to grow year over year -- barring a small amendment last year to remove $1 million.
"To put more money into law enforcement when we’ve said as a city we want to move in another direction, it doesn’t line up," Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela told the Sacramento Bee.
Sacramento had voted in October 2020 to push for "new approaches" to public safety, but the new budget covers a number of changes that would be necessary for general police reforms.
Sacramento City Manager Howard Chan announced that the new $165.8 million allocation is the highest-ever police budget, and it goes to great lengths to provide the city's law enforcement officials the tools and training they need in order to best protect their citizens.
Chan stated that the city faces “significant financial challenges” and “continues to experience revenue shortfalls,” yet he announced the police budget would go up by nearly $9.4 million.
As a result of anti-police marches, law enforcement officials are being asked to enforce laws differently than they are used to (using less-than-lethal tactics to suppress and detain an assailant, for example), so the budget includes a number of additions that were atypical.
These requests include money for more officers, body camera equipment, IT infrastructures for data storage, and training initiatives, coming in at a total of $3.1 million.
“Wasn’t the whole point that we were going to shift some things away from the police? So, why would they need more money?" asked activist Flojaune Cofer. "Given everything that’s happened over the last year, why is that where we’re placing our dollars?"
One thing noticeably missing from the budget is Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s proposal to remove $10 million from the police budget over the next two years.
The budget is pending final approval, and the proposed figures are subject to change.
The mammoth new budget flies in defiance of a trend seen across the country, with at least 18 major cities reducing their police budgets over the past year.
However, 24 cities increased their police spending for fiscal 2021, as well, including Atlanta, Omaha and Phoenix.