LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The City Council approved plans Tuesday for spending $56.6 million in funds diverted from the police department’s budget last year with goal being to invest in programs that benefit communities of color and provide alternatives to traditional policing.
In the wake of protests, calls to “defund” police agencies and to reimagine public safety following the murder of George Floyd a year ago, $150 million was diverted from the Los Angeles Police Department.
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Earlier this year, the council approved the spending of $32.2 million of the diverted fund, which led to a brief standoff with Mayor Eric Garcetti, who vetoed the proposal. He later signed off on a revised plan the council approved as it voted to override the mayoral veto.
Like the $32.2 million spending plan, Tuesday’s project approvals are spread across all 15 City Council districts and included a wide array of programs.
The list of included programs approved on Tuesday include community-improvement projects, youth programming and homeless outreach and assistance efforts. There are also various allocations for “reimagined public safety” programs citywide, millions of dollars in community grant programs and “environmental enhancements” and “quality of life services.”
There are also line items for projects such as athletic fields in under-served communities, job-training programs and neighborhood-beautification efforts. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were also allocated to train South Los Angeles residents to serve as “community intervention workers” to monitor parks and conduct patrols.
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City financial staff noted in a report to the council that much of the money being allocated represents “one-time” funding.
“To the degree that the programs recommended for funding are proposed to be ongoing in nature, ongoing sources of funding will need to be
identified pursuant to the city’s financial policies,” according to a staff report.
The spending plan approved by the council still needs to be approved by the mayor.
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