Yesterday, the City Council debated for over an hour on an amendment proposed by Chad West. The amendment would move about a 3 rd of the DPD’s overtime budget into the “general funds” of the city, and will require Eddie Garcia, DPD chief, to come ask for the funds from the public safety committee.
The amendment narrowly passed, with a 8/7 vote. Council Women Carolyn King Arnold and Cara Mendelsohn both expressed their frustration at the proposal and very strongly opposed it.
Councilman Bazaldua made the point that he is aware the overtime money will need to be used but felt the state law designed to prevent Texas cities from reducing their police budgets was tying the hands of the council, and his vote for “yes” was in response to that. He also made the point very clearly that it was not “defunding the police” Whatever Baz.
Members who voted in favor of moving the funds are as follows:
7- Adam Bazaldua
1- Chad West
13- Gay Donnell Willis
5- Jamie Resendez
11- Jaynie Shultz
2- Jesse Moreno
6- Omar Narvaez
14- Paul Ridley
Keep Dallas Safe agrees with Councilwoman Mendelsohn that the entire amendment and discussion around it was nothing more than an exercise in futility, and some council members used the opportunity to wax poetic about the “strong-arming” from Austin.
Council members Arnold and Atkins both used their time on the floor to speak about how upset and fed up their residents are with high crime in their neighborhoods and expressed their disappointment with slow DPD response times. Arnold even said she did not wish to be caught up in the “defund” debate again, as it nearly cost her the council seat earlier this year.
Overall, despite the passing of the amendment, the Council at large has expressed a desire to control violent crime and seem to have no intentions of cutting the DPD budget, thanks in part to Keep Dallas Safe’s pressure over the last year.
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