The Lansing city council has decided not to include a proposed police funding cut in its budget recommendation to the mayor.
Councilmembers Brandon Betz and Kathie Dunbar proposed cutting ten percent from the Lansing police budget every year for five years, with the money reinvested in social workers and other programs. At Monday’s council meeting, Betz pushed for the cut in the coming fiscal year by reminding his colleagues that the council’s budget priorities are a wish list being sent to Mayor Andy Schor.
“Do I think the mayor’s going to cut the police budget by ten percent? No way,” says Betz. “He is not interested in that. He’s shown that he’s not interested in that.”
Betz and Dunbar were joined by councilmember Brian Jackson in the five to three vote against the resolution. Opposition centered on forcing cuts in officers on the streets before newly-hired social workers are in place. The council did promote the hiring of social workers who would not operate out of the police department.