San Diego City Council Declines Calls to Cut Police Funding


San Diego City Council chambers Photo credit: Bengt Nyman

By The Associated Press

The San Diego City Council declined calls to cut police funding and approved a city budget that includes a modest increase for the department. The decision came at a lengthy meeting Monday in which the majority of some 400 callers and emails from more than 4,000 people urged rejection of the mayor’s plan to increase the police budget by $27 million to $566 million.

The council approved the budget plan on an 8-1 vote.

The pressure to cut the police budget echoed calls nationwide for defunding or cutting law enforcement budgets in protest of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, where the idea has received support from some municipal leaders.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced last week that the city would reverse plans for boosting police spending and instead redirect $250 million from the city budget into programs for health care, jobs and “healing” aimed largely at the black community.

Although refusing the demands for police budget cuts, the San Diego council did agree to create a new Office of Race and Equality and to increase rent relief funding by nearly $5 million to $15.1 million.