The Portland City Council approved at least a $15 million cut from the police bureau in the 2020-2021 budget. The Portland community has been advocating for a $50 million cut, but the commissioners had a disagreement on the depth of the cuts.
Chloe Eudaly, Portland commissioner, proposed cutting more positions within the bureau, but acknowledged that the budget would pass regardless of her vote as a unanimous vote was not necessary.
The police bureau originally was going to receive over $244 million, but previously proposed budgets had to be revised after COVID-19 caused a $75 million shortfall in Portland’s general fund. All of Portland’s bureaus needed to reduce 5.6% of their budgets, and later in June, protestors demanded a greater reduction in the police’s general fund. Ultimately, the $15 million cut will eliminate 84 positions within the Portland Police Bureau.
Last week a public testimony on the city budget took place, and 742 people called for defending the police. Many in the community believe that three of the PPB specialty units disproportionately aim at minorities. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports changes such as School Resource Officers being pulled from schools, police no longer being used as law enforcement on TriMet, and the Gun Violence Reduction Team being disbanded.
New programs are being organized in order to replace certain tasks that the police bureau has handled in the past. Almost $5 million from the PPB will go to the Portland Street Response which will dispatch unarmed first responders to assist those dealing with homelessness. Additionally, money from the police will go to developing black youth leadership, funding for the Civil Rights Title VI Program, and more.
Ellis, Rebecca. “Portland City Council Approves Budget Cutting Additional $15M From Police.” Oregon Public Broadcasting, OPB, 18 June 2020, www.opb.org/news/article/portland-police-budget-15-million-defund-cannabis-council-vote/.
Staff, Author: KGW. “Portland City Council Defunds Police Bureau by $15 Million.” Kgw.com, 17 June 2020, www.kgw.com/article/news/local/protests/defunding-portland-police-city-council-budget-15-million-cuts/283-239c5e3a-cfed-4dce-8775-d2c52a9df9aa.
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