The Oakland City Council voted on a new budget Tuesday with minimal cuts to the Oakland Police Department budget amidst protests for defunding the OPD.
And Oakland schools are discussing eliminating their police department.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Oakland city council rejected Councilwoman Nikki Fortunato Bas’ proposal of a $25 million budget cut to the Oakland Police Department. Instead, the council approved a budget that would delay the police academy, which would cut $2.5 million from the police, a small fraction of the Oakland Police Department’s $330 Million annual budget. The city council also designated $2.35 million to a program that would reach mental health professionals for emergency calls instead of police officers.
The vote for the approved budget was 5 to 1, with Fortunato Bas voting against it. Councilmembers Dan Kalb and Sheng Thao abstained, because they didn’t have time to read the plan that was released the day before the meeting.
Later today, the Oakland school board will vote on whether to terminate their police force which costs the city six million dollars a year. If passed, the School District would have to eliminate the department by December 2020. The measure also directs the Superintendent to redistribute funds to student support measures including social workers, restorative justice practitioners, mentors, and other services.
Oakland Unified School District is one of a few school districts in the bay area with its own police department.