City Council Rejected Proposal to Cut Lansing Police Budget
According to the Lansing State Journal, the majority of the Lansing City Council rejected a proposal to cut the city's police budget by 10% .
In the meantime, council members agreed they want to hire more social workers.
I think that is a great idea because social work is an academic discipline and practice based profession that concerns itself with individuals, families, groups, and communities in an effort to enhance overall well being.
City Council members voted on a list of priorities they want Mayor Andy Schor to consider as he focuses on his budget recommendation for the next fiscal year.
City Council will vote in May to approve or amend that recommendation. The new budget will take effect July 1.
"Brandon Betz, who is a Council member, suggested shaving $4.6 million from the police department's budget for operations and personal and reallocating nearly $1.5 million to hiring social workers and to youth education and employment programs." (LSJ)
The remaining money could be spent on recommendations from a newly created Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Five of eight council members voted down that suggestion, with only three voting in favor.
Council member Patricia Spitzley said, "I want to make decisions based on making the police department better, making them more responsive and keeping them accountable. I am not interested in cutting just to cut." (LSJ)
Council members did agree they want to set aside about $500,000 for full time social workers. One social worker has been working with the Lansing Police Department since 2019 to help residents with issues including homelessness and addiction. (LSJ)