Cities across the country are slashing their police budgets following several fatal police shootings and subsequent “abolish the police” marches — but not Sacramento.
The capital of California has revealed its new 2021-2022 budget, costing a total of $1.3 billion, and it asks for more money than ever for their men and women in uniform.
“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 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 give the city's law enforcement officials the tools and training they need to protect their citizens.
Chan said 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, totaling $3.1 million.
“Wasn’t the whole point that we were going to shift some things away from 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.
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