Democratic city leaders in 20 major U.S. cities where officials reduced police budgets in some form or have proposed cutting funding received personal protection from police details that have cost taxpayers millions of dollars, according to a report published by Forbes.
“Defund the police” became the rallying cry of protests last summer following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a white police officer.
Forbes, through Freedom of Information Act requests, asked 25 major cities for information on which city officials have police details, how many officers are assigned, and how much it costs.
In Chicago, the city spent $17.3 million between 2015 and 2020 to guard “unnamed city officials.
In San Francisco, Calif., $12.4 million was spent during the same time frame to protect Mayor London Breed. Breed last summer promised to reallocate $120 million from law enforcement to the Black community. That’s no longer the plan. Law enforcement spending is going up and the Dream Keeper Initiative – the city’s effort to tackle disparities in the Black community – will be paid for through the General Fund.
For the proposed 2021-22 budget, the San Francisco Police Department’s allocation will decrease by $6 million but the city projects an increase to $689 million the following fiscal year (close to the budget’s all-time high of $692 million in 2019-20).
Baltimore, which slashed $22 million from its police budget in 2020, spent $3.6 million in 2020 for 14 police officers to cover Mayor Brandon Scott, State Attorney Marilyn Mosby and police commissioner Michael Harrison.
But Scott’s proposed spending plan for the next fiscal year increases the budget of the Baltimore Police Department by $28 million, according to Fox Baltimore.
San Diego in 2021 has budgeted $2.6 million for 12 full-time police officers to protect Mayor Todd Gloria, the city council during its meetings, and for the city administration building security. Gloria in June signed a $4.6 billion budget for fiscal year 2022 that included a $23 million increase to the San Diego Police Department’s budget but cuts to police overtime by $4 million.
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