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How money was spent
While the City Council in September cut police overtime, the department’s overall expense budget came in at $562 million — $15 million more than the previous fiscal year.
City Manager T.C. Broadnax had proposed $24 million for police overtime — $2 million less than the previous year — but the council ultimately voted to cut $7 million and reallocate it. That vote was 11-4, with Johnson and council members McGough, Mendelsohn and Jennifer Staubach Gates voting no.
Most of the funding, $3.85 million, was supposed to go toward hiring 95 civilian police staff and moving the same amount of sworn officers who currently fill those desk duty roles to patrol.
Here’s a breakdown of how the rest of the $7 million would be spent:
- Another $1.5 million would be devoted to enhancing street lights in parts of the city as a crime deterrent.
- $750,000 would go toward the city’s code compliance office to help address illegal dumping.
- $600,000 would go to the community care office to help toward addressing root causes of poverty in the city.
- $300,000 would go toward the city’s integrated public safety solutions office to help pay for a violence interrupters program, an initiative where community members aid in deescalating situations.
Many of the initiatives are underway.
During a March news conference, Johnson said more than 70 new lights recently installed in the Opportunity Park area in South Dallas led to a nearly 40% drop in crime and calls for service from the same time the previous year.
Earlier this month, the city picked a contractor to run the violence interrupters program.
In an April 7 written message to residents where he called the overtime budget vote “foolish and imprudent,” Johnson said 32 civilian police positions had been filled but they were not keeping pace with the number of officers leaving the department.