Ray Levy Uyeda, Prism

One year after the George Floyd uprisings that prompted a nationwide reevaluation of what role police actually play in upholding public safety, cities are backtracking on moves to redirect funds from municipal police budgets. In response to the uprisings, civil rights activists, community organizations, and protesters demanded that officials defund police budgets, which often account for significant portions of city spending and eclipse funding for local programs, schools, and libraries.

Now, some local governments are restoring police budgets that had been recently cut, and some departments are receiving additional funding on the claim that a nationwide increase in crime demands an increased police presence. In Austin, after vowing to cut funding by $100 million, the city council increased the police budget to a record $442 million. The New York Times recently wrote on the issue that departments felt pressure to increase police funding, in some cases offering signing bonuses, in response to the number of officers who resigned their positions.

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