Latest in a series of posts about the Bethlehem Police
City of Bethlehem Final Budget 2020
Police Department pp. 133-48
Gadfly’s previous post in this series was about national conversation concerning defunding police departments, so he has gathered here some basic budget information that we might want to think about.
Defunding means trimming police department responsibilities and reallocating funds into social programs.
The Police Department has 154 members, with a budget (c. $16m.) approximately 20% of the total City Budget.
Discussion at the Council budget hearing last year (links above) touched on subjects of manpower, overtime, body cameras, and so forth, and was cordial.
If there is interest now in cutting the police budget and reallocating the money, what would be cut? The size of the force? Overtime?
Further $$$$ figures necessary for this conversation would be 1) what we are spending now for desired social programs in comparison to what we are spending on police and 2) the cost of social programs that we would like to institute that we don’t have at all now.
Would, for instance, we take money from the police and transfer it to Community and Economic Development to enhance some programs already in operation and/or to initiate new programs?
Or would we cut elsewhere in the budget? Or see enhanced social programming as a justifiable reason to raise taxes?
Just trying to get a conversation started here.
Selections from pp. 133-48 of 2020 budget (follow link above if too hard to read):