Baltimore is following in the footsteps of several cities across the country. On Monday, the city council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee approved measures to defund portions of the Baltimore Police Department.
A motion to defund the marine unit passed and an amendment was approved to disband the mounted police unit.
The committee also approved cutting funds to the Baltimore City State’s attorney’s office.
This comes after city council members met virtually Friday with Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison to discuss his department’s $550 million budget for the next fiscal year.
Harrison told members it’s not the right time to defund police as murders in the city spike and the department continues its efforts to rebuild while under a federal consent decree, which he claimed has forced major reforms.
Instead, Harrison proposed some cuts to help the city pay for Kirwan education reforms and costs brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the committee has approved measures to defund police, the measures still need to go before the full council for a vote. Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott has said he will propose “tens of millions of dollars” of cuts to BPD over a multiyear plan.
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