Pasadena’s budget time means a surge in calls to Defund the Police –

The city council is in the city 2022 budget plan, Pasadena is in the midst of its own “police refund” moment.

The police station faces the demand to “reimagine” itself and do it with less money in the days of death on video. George Floyd And Anthony McLean The loom is big.

These demands (shifting police funds to other efforts) surged last week as the city council faced community backlash against the sector’s proposed $ 92 million budget for next year.

By far the largest budget in any sector of the city will increase from the $ 91,093,000 adopted budget for 2020-21 to $ 92,795,553 next year starting July 1. , Local leaders and residents lament the scale and urge Congress and city officials to reassess their spending priorities.

Value issues

Mayra Macedo-Nolan, Executive Director of the Pasadena Clergy Coalition, was “disappointed” last week when police and community trust were “in the ditch” and police spending plans did not better reflect the times. Told the council. ..

“I think the budget is a moral document. It’s just a statement of our priorities at a particular point in time, an expression of our values,” she said.

She and many others (from clergy to local social justice groups) are lined up and calling at city council meetings requesting a reassessment of their values.

Those who support the reshifting of the police dollar foresee the public health and park and recreation sectors as alternative storage locations. Although these sectors receive far less money than police, supporters provide community services that bridge social equality gaps and enhance public security without the need for police response. Say there is.

Part of the Public Health Service’s budget is proposed to change from $ 15.6 million adopted in 2021 to $ 19.4 million next year (2021 public health budget will eventually reach $ 18.7 million). It has been revised upward). Parks and Recreation jumps from $ 22.8 million adopted in 2021 to $ 26.2 million (Parks & Rec’s budget for 2021 has also been revised upward to $ 26.1 million).

But in cities with total spending plans close to $ 900 million, that’s not enough, critics say.

The pandemic has highlighted the gap between housing, public health and homeless care. And the killing of George Floyd and the deadly Pasadena police shooting of Anthony McLean in August rethink how police do their job and whether there is work the police need to do. Rekindled the call to do.

“It’s time to reallocate police station resources to better serve the community, determine how much to steal from the police, and consider preventing this from happening anymore.” A group of priests. Martin Gordon, chair of the Pasadena Community Coalition, said he is a local service provider and leader advocating fairness, police accountability, affordable housing and healthcare.

Floyd’s aftermath, McLean shooting

Of course, it’s not just Pasadena. Cities and counties across the country A similar issue is being addressed over police financing, especially following the murder of Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day 2020. Instead of spending time on the police, we spend a lot on services and programs where supporters create a safer community.

Locally, a McClain (32) police shot deadly from behind while running from a transportation stop in August 2020 is a new $ 2.2 million mobile command unit. Shooting continues to be considered by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, a third-party auditor hired by the city, and ultimately the police station itself.

These concerns were raised at a city council meeting on June 7, when police chief John Perez presented a blueprint for departmental spending and plans for next year. Most of that budget, $ 79.8 million, will go to workforce, including filling positions that are expected to retire 12 times in the next six months, according to Perez.

“In fact, the budget here is flat,” he added, highlighting last year’s efforts to reorganize departments and find ways to use additional funding, such as subsidies, to curb budget tightness.

Perez, who In May he announced that he would retire next yearThe department’s goal should be to invest in youth intervention and prevention programs.

“Everything we do in the next decade in the future should focus on young people. All money should go in that direction,” he said. “The more precautions we have, the less crackdowns we have.”

Still, Mr Perez said there was an urgent need for law enforcement that should not be ignored.

  • Increasing violent crimes and a surge in the number of guns recovered in the city.
  • The need to maintain sector participation in youth violence and prevention programs.
  • Strengthen the department’s homeless initiative.

In addition, the Police Department and the LA County Mental Health Department have collaborated to form three Homeless Outreach Psychiatric Assessment (HOPE) teams consisting of one specially trained police officer and mental health care professionals. It offers. The team provides crisis intervention to address the urgent mental health needs of those experiencing homelessness.

Who should provide the service?

However, many who support the transfer of money from the police say police officers should spend less time on homeless outreach and crisis intervention teams and more time on violent crimes. They lament that many say they are overly dependent on the police to deal with many social illnesses.

There are some early signs of shifting some of that dependence. The city aims to create a second Pasadena Outreach Response Team (PORT). The team works in the field with grants through the public health sector to provide support and advocacy services to homeless people with health and addiction problems. Police recently launched an “experiment” by transferring requests for health-related services to homeless people to a PORT team of emergency health workers, social workers, and outreach workers.

“This effort is still in its infancy, but it needs to be built in a careful and systematic way to ensure success, because there is no simple” bolt-on “solution to achieve the desired results,” the mayor said. Steve said. Marmel’s letter to the May Council outlining the proposed 2021 fiscal year budget. “Ultimately, it is believed that thousands of service calls can be redirected from the police station to the PORT or successor model each year.”

Still, the core of community supporters’ concerns is imbalance.They point out UCLA study published in April, As a result, Pasadena spent more money on overtime than other police stations. Analysis by the University’s Criminal Justice Program found that if Pasadena reduced overtime to a level more consistent with LAPD or the LA County Sheriff’s Office, the city could save $ 4.6 million annually.

Overtime fee

According to the survey, five police officers received more money than basic salary from overtime. One of the best earners received $ 159,348 in OT alone when that officer’s base salary was $ 107,489. In response, city officials said the ministry’s total compensation was around the median of 10 other law enforcement agencies and did not elaborate on “the proper role and funding of law enforcement” in the study. ..

According to Gordon, the sector can take more than 12 actions to find savings. He said that even actions such as relying on trained volunteer police officers (perhaps other retired police officers who passed a police academy) to do some work could save money. The $ 200,000 savings could be shifted to computers that young people use to promote their education and add social workers.

Melmel said the annual budget is based on urban services developed in previous years “through many interactions with members.”

“A large-scale restructuring of budget allocation is possible, but it can disrupt existing service levels,” he said in a statement to the newsgroup. “Therefore, it is best to take such action only after careful consideration of the impact and a thorough public dialogue.”

Ultimately, it is in the hands of the city council, which continues a series of hearings before adopting the new budget for 2022. And Gordon is concerned that the city council seems ready to approve the proposed budget.

“The police station budget is exaggerated,” Gordon said.

Pasadena’s budget time means a surge in calls to Defund the Police –

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