OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Oakland City Council members have passed a new budget that includes cutting money for the police department.
Mayor Libby Schaff addressed the budget vote on Thursday. She says it cuts 50 police officers who respond to 911 calls and enforce traffic safety.
It also cuts future academies, which she says will significantly reduce police staffing and delay response times to emergencies.
Mayor Schaff says the new budget will will force officers to work overtime shifts.
Schaff released a statement on the budget, saying:
The budget passed today by the Oakland City Council makes bold investments to reimagine public safety through violence prevention and non-police strategies that I strongly support.
Unfortunately, it also cuts 50 police officers who respond to Oaklanders’ 911 calls and enforce traffic safety. It also cuts much-needed future academies, which will significantly reduce police staffing and delay response to Oaklanders in their time of crisis. It will force our officers to work even more overtime shifts, which are expensive and unsafe for officers and residents alike.
I believe that until we have proven alternatives, we cannot destroy Oakland’s current public safety system at a time when we are losing so many to gun violence.
I commend Councilmember Loren Taylor for offering a measured compromise that would have funded all the new investments to reimagine public safety while still preserving the basic police services our residents rely upon, including Ceasefire, which has been proven to reduce gun violence.
It is difficult to understand why Councilmembers Bas, Fife, Gallo, Kaplan and Thao voted against Councilmember Taylor’s proposal (moved for a vote by Councilmember Treva Reid) that maintained all their new investments, and would have preserved the basic public safety response our most vulnerable Oaklanders rely on in their most traumatic times of need.
Our community is suffering and unfortunately, the impacts of violence and trauma are falling more heavily on communities of color in East and West Oakland. My office will continue to work in partnership with the Department of Violence Prevention and the Police Department to interrupt the cycles of violence affecting our city. We will also aggressively seek out the resources announced by President Biden yesterday to address the horrifying increase in gun violence that our city and many others are experiencing right now.Mayor Libby Schaff