BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore City Council on Monday approved budget cuts for certain Baltimore Police Department units amid a nationwide call for cities to reduce police spending.

Council members voted to cut around $22 million from the police department’s $550 million budget. Among the cuts are $2.4 million from the department’s mounted and marine units and nearly $7 million in officer overtime.

City Council President Brandon Scott, who is also the Democratic nominee for mayor, said he believes Baltimore must reallocate its budget away from dependence on the police department and instead reinvest that money in agencies that focus on developing young people and communities.

He added the city can also reduce police spending while still adhering to the federal consent decree.

“These cuts are again what I’m going to say are responsible cuts to the police department budget that show that this council and the folks moving forward … are serious about changing the way we reallocate our funds,” he said at the council’s budget committee meeting earlier Monday. At that meeting, a motion to defund the marine unit passed and the committee also approved an amendment to disband the mounted and marine police units.

Residents WJZ spoke with Monday night agreed.

“If you could build the communities up and give people hope, and then they have character, they wouldn’t feel like they’re lost and not part of society,” Tracey Richardson said.

“We have other avenues that we could be supplying funds for that really could improve the lives of our constituency,” Baltimore resident Rachel Wilkinson said.

In the future, Scott said in order for the police department to receive state or federal grant funding, they will have to come before the council for approval.

By eliminating the unrestricted funding, Scott said there is now a higher oversight of the department’s budget.

“We are just showing that we are going to be more transparent with the budget. We are not going to allow tens of millions of dollars unallocated. You are going to have to follow the process. But, again this is just the beginning,” he said.

While the city council can make cuts to the budget, only the mayor can reallocate funding to other sources. At Monday night’s Board of Estimates meeting, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said he would let the cuts stand.

Rachel Menitoff

Comments (7)
  1. Frank says:

    Sit back and watch the crime skyrocket baltimore. Congratulations.

  2. Bill Smiths says:

    lol…….defund the police…..let’s see how this works out for the people of Baltimore, this is why I m so glad I moved away from that dysfunction which is only getting worse. I guess when one of them stupid “hipsters” falls in the harbor drunk and drowns they will have to call the garbage wheel boat to scoop um out. lol…lol ….these people are truly nuts.

  3. mike cave says:

    good luck with that why I carry

  4. Steph says:

    Just think this ignorant clown Brandon Scott who just cut millions is going to be the next Mayor of Baltimore along with 2 cop-hating activist Mosby(AG) & Mosby(city counsel). I hope the state and nearby county police charge them triple time when they have to assist with the criminals in the city. How many billions have already been sunk into Baltimore City for social programs to give them hope for the last several decades. When they are forced to pay OT and for outside police help next year they will have to reallocate back what they originally stole. In the end it will cost them more.

  5. Chris says:

    good luck. Baltimore is a few shootings away from being considered a war zone as it is. so lets do what the gangs are pushing for and have less police presence. definitely a smart choice. let them have more freedom to traffic drugs weapons and women. nothing wrong with that right? God i need to move out of this state.

  6. Larry Espey says:

    It has worked very well in other cities- defunding does not mean totally getting rid of them, it means replacing police w/ other programs that work to PREVENT crime & change the role of cops in the community. Camden NJ defunded their police 7 years ago…………it cut crime in HALF They still have enforcement, but it is totally different and it WORKS. Violent crime there is down 42%- think that would be good for Baltimore?

    Baltimore should look at what Camden did- it used to be a violent cesspool too. It is clear the cops we have not are not working, the money is wasted.

    Remember, gangs are funded by all the addicted citizens who “aren’t hurting anyone” buying a bag of weed or their kids buying some pills for a party THOSE are the people bringing you gang violence up to cartel violence that drives people to come here illegally from Latin America. Legalizing drugs only makes the problem worse, not better & the gangs will always be there selling it cheaper than it is sold legally.

    1. Arnold Ziffel says:

      That would be great if it was true. The number of police was increased by 55%, not decreased. More policing and the arresting of violent felons resulted in the crime decrease. The police department was disbanded, then replaced with a much larger Camden County force.

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