LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer calls it “Reinventing Public Safety”.
Fischer’s proposed budget of $ 986 million for the next fiscal year more than triples the amount spent on public safety programs in the previous budget.
“This budget extends the concept of public safety beyond policing,” said Fischer. “So that includes social workers, that includes community mobilization, that first of all includes youth crime prevention. This also includes the intervention.
If approved by the Metro Council, $ 19,525,400 will be spent on a number of initiatives, including strengthening community relations with the police, stopping deadly violence in the city, new technologies and training for the police, funding for the new civilian review board and inspector, and programs to get at-risk youths find jobs and get out of prison.
“You just want everyone to be involved, not just the police,” Fischer said. “I mean, what it shows in America today is that just putting more money into the police isn’t a practical strategy, and it doesn’t work.”
The budget proposed by Fischer does not allocate more money directly to the LMPD. The department would continue with the same budget and the same number of officers it has during the fiscal year. Fischer said it was not about funding the police.
“The notion of police funding is impractical,” Fischer said. “No one disputes the maintenance of order; that’s how it’s done. This budget therefore extends the concept of public safety beyond the maintenance of order.
Nor does Fischer’s budget proposal contain the painful cuts that have constrained spending over the previous two years. The reasons include higher than expected income and savings after receiving federal COVID relief funds.
“It was the first budget in a long time where we actually had resources to spend and not just cut, cut, cut,” said Fischer.
The mayor’s office described the budget as “bullish … focused on accelerating the city’s economic recovery with more emphasis on equity, rethinking public safety and youth development.”
Fischer revealed his budget plans to Metro Council members on Thursday.
Some Metro Council members told media they agreed it was essential to focus on public safety and said they were still reviewing the budget.
“We will apply the same rigor and scrutiny to the decisions we made a few years ago when the belt needs to be tightened much more than this year,” said city councilor Anthony Piagentini. “And that will put us on a great course, so we look back in 5 to 10 years and we appreciate the decisions and the investments that we have made in this budget.”
Protesters and activists told WAVE 3 News they didn’t think the $ 19.5 million spent on violence prevention programs was enough.
They said they did not believe the Civilian Review Board and Inspector General solve the problems, especially between the police and the community.
“This review, this citizen review board or whatever it is that won’t even affect anything like that,” said Neal Robertson, president of the West Louisville Urban Coalition. “So what are we doing here?” What kind of games are we still playing here? We need someone to come to our town and save our town> »
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