DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The Dallas City Council voted 11-4 Wednesday night to cut $7 million from the Dallas Police Department's $24 million overtime budget.
The police department's overall budget as proposed by City Manager T.C. Broadnax is more than $516 million, while the general fund budget is more than $1.4 billion.
While cutting DPD overtime, the new budget keeps police funding in place. The overtime amendment was approved in a 11-4 vote. The complete budget package passed by a 9-6 vote.
The day before the budget vote, five former Council Members, Rickey Callahan, William Blaydes, Jerry Allen, Gary Griffith and Mary Poss, who also served as Acting Mayor, wrote a letter to current council members expressing their concerns about the reduction in police overtime.
"We are urging you to reconsider your proposed $7 million cut from Dallas Police Department's overtime budget," the letter said.
Mayor Eric Johnson had sharply criticized the idea, as had Governor Greg Abbott, who blasted city council members during a news conference in Austin earlier this month.
Dozens of people signed up to speak during the city council meeting, with many expressing support for the defunding of the police department, which is something Councilman Chad West said was never considered. "No one on council has tried to put an amendment forward to defund the police previously and it's not happening now," he said.
The compromise shifted the police overtime funds that were reduced to other public safety programs.
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