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Downey approves 2020-21 budget with an increase in Police spending

Downey Police vehicles escort protesters who are asking, among other things, to cut the police budget. Photo Carlos Casillas


With a total of almost $242 million dollars, the revenue and expenditure budget for the city of Downey for the fiscal year 2020-21 was unanimously approved on Tuesday, June 23, with increases for the Police Department, and decreases in Community Development.

According to estimates, nearly $107 million is budgeted towards the general fund revenue. Just over $98 million from the general fund expenditures will be allocated towards “operating expenditures” during the following fiscal year, as detailed during a City council meeting. 


In the midst of the global pandemic, and millions of U.S. citizens across the country calling to reform and defund Police Departments, the Downey city government was not sensitive to the matter and will spend 40 percent of its total budget to fund the Police. 

The inequity of the allocated funds is quite evident through the increase in the Police Budget that is $2,390,727 more than what was budgeted in 2019-20, compared to the budget for Community Development which will be receiving 18 percent less than the last fiscal year. 

A citizen asks to cancel the rents in Downey, at the council meeting on June 23. Photo: Carlos Casillas

While the majority of cities and counties that reside in Southern California are looking to cut funds for their police departments and reallocate them in areas such as education, health, and housing, the Downey council members had no problem in their decision to increase the police budget by seven percent.

This decision is in contrast to what is being done in the city of Los Angeles, where a seven percent decrease in LAPD operating spending is about to be approved, as well as in the city of Anaheim, where hundreds of residents have raised their voices to the City Council for having 42 percent of their budget going towards their Police Department. 

Following the Police department, the dependencies that are reported to be receiving the largest budgets are Firefighters with 25 percent and the general government (salaries, bills to pay, etc.) with 12 percent of the annual budget. 

On the contrary, we see the departments with the lowest budgets are Parks and Recreation with 10 percent, Public Works with eight percent and at the bottom, Community or Social Development, with merely five percent of the total annual expenditures. 

Along with this, a dozen citizens gathered outside the council chambers to request that the city would avoid getting involved in the privatization of the Central Basin Municipal Water District.

This graph shows the departments that will have less budget and those that will have more.


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