State News

Police budgets in Detroit, other big Michigan cities grow a year after 'defund' protests

June 22, 2021, 3:24 PM

A detailed look at Michigan's 20 largest cities shows that "most will be increasing their police budget from last year's dollar amount" in the fiscal year starting July 1.

Michigan Radio did the analysis to spot possible changes "after a year of protests calling for dramatic changes in policing across America," says a post today by data reporter Nisa Khan and reporter-producer Dustin Dwyer.

Detroit special response unit last year
(Photo: Twitter/Branden Hunter)

Detroit, Dearborn, Lansing and Grand Rapids "plan to increase funding for their police departments in the coming year," note the journalists for a public radio group based in Ann Arbor. "And they are not alone."

Among those [20 largest] cities, few will reduce the number of officers. Ann Arbor and Dearborn are eliminating five police officer positions each.

Both Warren and Sterling Heights proposed adding police officers, while most of the other cities will keep their police staffing levels the same.

The reporters quote Detroit resident Yvonne Jones at a spring City Council meeting where members voted against a $39-million (12%) cut in yearly police spending proposed by Raquel Castañeda-López:

"It is time for us to look at these budgets closely. The police budget needs to be defunded. There’s too much money being spent on the police, and not enough on the people of Detroit."

City-by-city comparisons are tricky, Michigan Radio acknowledges:

There's a lot of variation in how cities put their budgets together. For example, some cities include dispatch services in their police budget, but others don't.

Read more:  Michigan Radio

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