SD City Councilmembers to look at Police budget form future reforms
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego City Council recently voted 8-1 to adopt a city budget following a marathon council meeting Monday that included thousands of city residents lobbying against a proposed police department budget increase.
The vote came nearly 12 hours after the meeting began, following hundreds of phone calls and more than 4,000 emails from residents, many of whom called for the rejection of a $27 million increase in the budget for the San Diego Police Department.
The lone vote against adopting the budget came from Councilman Chris Ward, who said during the meeting that more funds should be allocated toward rental and small business assistance.
The majority of callers asked money to be shifted from the police department to programs for homeless outreach, mental health services, racial equity commissions, rent assistance and other programs.
Councilwoman Monica Montgomery proposed the creation of a city Office on Race and Equity to address some of the concerns residents have voiced with policing, which was included in the approved budget.
“As elected officials, we must honestly and genuinely address the root causes of the local protests — the inequity in enforcement and the systemic racism that is prevalent in our region,” Montgomery said.
City Council President, Georgette Gomez, and Montgomery have asked the Independent Budget Analyst for a detailed report on how the department budget is structured.
Gomez joined Good Morning San Diego to talk about how she is committed to moving forward to address systemic inequality in San Diego.
Gomez also said the $27 million increase in the budget for the San Diego Police Department was already agreed upon as part of the contract agreement with the police union.