Los Angeles City Council votes to slash LAPD budget by $150 million

Calls for reform, from activists and police

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday voted to cut the Los Angeles Police Department's budget by $150 million as it finalizes its overall budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The cuts follow the protests over police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody, CBS Los Angeles reported.

The council Wednesday voted 12-2 in favor of the budget adjustments, with Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and John Lee casting the dissenting votes. It followed Tuesday's unanimous city council vote to replace police officers with unarmed crisis response teams for nonviolent emergency calls.

The L.A. City Council's Budget and Finance Committee on Monday voted in favor of the $150 million reduction. It had initially approved a $133 million reduction last week but then upped it to $150 million.

A portion of the money will be used to limit the furlough of municipal employees. In April, Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed furloughing 15,000 civilian employees due to the revenue shortfalls brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The rest of the money saved would be invested in underserved areas and communities of color.

In late May, just days prior to the protests which erupted across L.A., Garcetti approved giving LAPD officers $41 million in bonuses and increasing the department's budget by more than 7% in the 2020-21 fiscal year, this despite the fact that that the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic fallout had also forced him to propose the furloughs.

This comes after the L.A. Unified School District Board of Education voted Tuesday night to slash the school police budget by $25 million, or 35%.

The city council, meanwhile, is voting Wednesday on final adjustments to the 2020-21 fiscal year budget - which takes effect today - before going on a summer recess through July 28.

The proposed operating budget of the LAPD was about $1.86 billion before the proposed cuts, which have been criticized by the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents the department's nearly 9,900 sworn officers. The entire 2020-2021 budget for the city of Los Angeles is about $10.5 billion.

According to city documents, the city's revenue for 2019-2020 is estimated to be $6.32 billion, about $253.5 million below the 2019-2020 proposed budget.

Revenues in the 2021 fiscal year are difficult to forecast due to the pandemic, with the City Administrative Officer's staff reporting they could be about $6.68 billion, but they also said they could be anywhere between $45 million to $409 million below that estimate.


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