|(Aug. 11, 2021, 11:45 a.m.) -- As seen live on LBREPORT.com, City Council members (Aug. 10) signaled no meaningful dissent from Mayor/Mgm't proposed FY 22 police budget that doesn't restore for taxpayers any of roughly 230 officers defunded by previous and present Councils.
No Council incumbents sought to change their current FY 21 budgeted officer level that leaves LB with a significantly thinner per capita police level than LA, Santa Monica, Signal Hill.
Some incumbents (Allen, Price) urged a costly change in management's proposed FY22 police budget (favored by police officers union which didn't speak) to use all sworn officers (not part civilians) to fly LBPD's helicopter.
In public testimony, over two dozen speakers from various groups including, Long Beach Forward, the Long Beach Immigrants Rights Coalition urged the Council to defund 25% ($65 million) of LBPD's budget as part of their self-declared "Peoples Budget." Their speakers said LBPD practices violence that doesn't deter violence, said police don't make the community safer and urged diverting current LBPD sums to other spending items they said the community favors.
None of the groups that urged defunding the police urged reducing other City Hall spending (including Mayor Garcia's nine-member staff, management raises and new hires) to pay for their desired items.
No speakers from any neighborhood, business or community group publicly urged Council to restore any of roughly 230 officers previously erased/defunded.
Some Councilmembers raised the issue of response times (now over five minutes in ELB and NLB for the most serious calls) but none mentioned LB's thin per capita police level that they voted to approve a year earlier as a contributing factor.
A few hours before the Council met to discuss the Mayor/management proposed FY22 police budget, CD6/Saro had a shooting in broad daylight in the area of 20th St./Pacific Ave. (Wrigley area.) It's the latest in a string of shootings mainly (but no longer exclusively) impacting parts of central and north Long Beach.
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|If the Council ultimately approves the Mayor/Mgm't proposed FY22 budget in late August or early September, it will leave Long Beach without its former LBPD field anti-gang unit and with a thinner per capita officer level than Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Signal Hill. (Chart shows LB police level before Sept. 2020 defunding of 48 additional officers.)
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