City leaders voted Wednesday to slash the Los Angeles Police Department budget by $150 million, reducing the number of officers to a level not seen for more than a decade amid nationwide demands to shift money away from law enforcement agencies during America's reckoning over police brutality and racial injustice. About two-thirds of the funding was earmarked for police overtime and will be used to provide services and programs for communities of color, including a youth summer jobs program, the AP reports. The City Council’s 12-2 vote will drop the number of officers from 9,988 as of last month to 9,757 by next summer, abandoning a goal of 10,000 officers touted by political leaders and only reached in 2013.
Other cities around the country also have cut police budgets or are moving to do so, including an effort in Minneapolis to disband the city's force. New York City lawmakers approved an austere budget Wednesday that will shift $1 billion from policing to education and social services in the coming year. In California, liberal Berkeley passed a budget Wednesday that cuts $9.2 million from police, while Oakland leaders last week slashed $14.6 million from law enforcement. The Los Angeles vote reduces the LAPD's nearly $2 billion budget. Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti had proposed increasing it in April to help preserve the staffing level of 10,000 officers before facing intense pushback after George Floyd's death invigorated a nationwide campaign to "defund" police.
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