ONN – Oakland Police Budget Upped by 6%, $38.5 Million In Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas’ Budget – video made by the YouTube channel in the video’s upper left hand corner.
Oakland Police Budget Upped by 6%, $38.5 Million In Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas’ Budget
OAKLAND, CA — Yesterday, July 1, 2021, Oakland Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas and her budget team of Councilmembers Fife, Kalb, and Gallo sent a joint letter to Mayor Schaaf, Administrator Reiskin, and Police Chief Armstrong to express serious concern over the Administration and Police Department’s sharing of inaccurate and misleading information regarding police funding in the Fiscal Year 2021-23 budget, passed on Thursday, June 24.
No Cuts to Policing Made: Oakland Police Budget Is In Fact Increasing by 6%
The City’s 2019-21 budget allocated $635,278,301 million for police spending; this total accounts for midcycle budget amendments made in 2020-21, whereas prior released numbers did not reflect these amendments. Oakland’s new 2021-23 budget allocates $673,819,639 million for police spending, a $38,541,338 million (+6%) increase from the last budget cycle in the City’s General Purpose Fund.
Mayor Schaaf’s proposed 2021-23 budget would have increased police spending to $692,584,997 million. Council President Bas’ budget increased police spending, but redirected $18,765,358 million of Schaaf’s proposed increase towards tripling the Department of Violence Prevention’s budget and expanding MACRO, Oakland’s civilian crisis response program in the Fire Department. The Police Department’s projected staffing levels in the first year are the same in both Mayor Schaaf’s proposal and the budget passed by the Council, which will serve as a transitional year to divert non-criminal, non-violent 911 calls to alternative responses in the Fire and Transportation Departments.
Defining Violence Interruption and Plans to Expand Violence Prevention in 2021-23
On Tuesday, June 29, Bas convened a public panel on the Department of Violence Prevention’s plans to expand violence prevention efforts in Oakland using its significantly increased budget with Guillermo Cespedes, Oakland’s Chief of Violence Prevention, as well as life coaches and violence interrupters leading frontline organizations addressing gun / gang / group violence, gender-based violence, human trafficking, and trauma in Oakland.
During the panel, Chief Cespedes shared that San Francisco’s 2020 homicide rate was 5 homicides per 100,000 residents, with 32 violence interrupters; Los Angeles’ rate hovers around 10 homicides per 100,000 residents, with 132 violence interrupters. By contrast, Oakland is severely understaffed: our homicide rate was 24 homicides per 100,000 residents, with only 10 violence interrupters.
“I am disappointed by our Mayor and Police Chief characterizing Oakland’s new budget to the media and general public as having ‘defunded’ or ‘decimated’ the police budget, when in fact total resources allocated for policing have increased by 6% or $38.5 million in this budget, compared to our last two-year budget. Since 2012, OPD’s budget has increased by more than $100 million,” said Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas. “As leaders of our city, we must not use exaggerated, inaccurate information. It prevents us from coming together to focus on strengthening our public safety system’s ability to address violent and serious crime, while transitioning to build effective alternatives for non-violent, low-level 911 calls for service.”
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