The Baltimore City Council has approved $22 million in budget cuts to the City Police Department.
The cuts are part of the FY 2021 budget which will go into effect on July 1. While the money was intended to be shifted to social programs, the Council can only identify cuts to the budget as the power to control spending lies with Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young who believes the police department is in need of the resources being cut.
The Baltimore Sun reports:
Rather, it voted to eliminate roughly $22 million in police spending for the upcoming fiscal year — a move that City Council President Brandon Scott says is a signal of what’s to come.
The Council intended for the cuts to boost spending elsewhere, including opening recreation centers on Sundays, increasing trauma services and offering black-owned businesses forgivable loans.
The Sun article explains that the budget action would result in cuts to overtime, elimination of the mounted and marine units as well as any other unallocated funds, and delays to new community intelligence center.
WBAL reports on the scope of the cuts and notes the concerns of the police department:
The cuts amounted to about 4% of the department’s budget. Most of the cuts were to grant funding from the state and federal governments.
An internal document circulated to City Council members by the Police Department said cuts to grant funding could jeopardize federal reimbursements for expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic.
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