Oakland Slashes Police Department Budget



The Oakland City Council fixed its $83 million budget deficit last night by making a series of wide-ranging cuts, including slashing the police department budget by 10 percent, according to the Trib. The 10 percent reduction mirrored agreements that the city reached with other public employee unions, which have all agreed to take the equivalent of 10 percent cuts in compensation. The police department likely will be forced to put cops on unpaid furlough to achieve the 10 percent cut — unless the police union agrees to compensation reductions as the other unions did.

The budget adopted by the council last night also includes a plan to lay off 140 police officers — unless the city receives a $67 million federal grant over the next three years. The budget also keeps libraries open five days a week, slashes the mayor's office and council offices' staffs by 20 percent, and institutes a 10 percent tax on all tickets at the Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena. The council, however, will be forced to make even more cuts if Oakland voters turn down a series of ballot measures this month, if the state decides to raid city coffers to balance its own budget, or if the federal government chooses not to award the $67 million grant — or only awards a portion of it.