‘Defunding’ police appears to not yet have traction here


While defunding police has been advocated by speakers at rallies and public meetings in Evanston in recent days, the concept does not appear to have yet gained traction among elected officials.

In Seattle this week, where police spending accounts for a quarter of the city’s general fund budget, City Council members began what they described as an “inquest” into the police budget with some calling for reallocating funds to other programs. Seattle spends 82 percent of its police budget on personnel costs and overtime.

In Minneapolis, nine of 12 council members have said they want to dismantle the police department, which apparently would mean shifting a substantial portion of the department’s funding to education and social services programs in an effort to reduce socioeconomic disparities. But no specific details have yet emerged.

In Evanston the police department accounts for about 35% of general fund spending.

But it amounts to only 18% of the city’s total annual budget.

Note: The “Management” category in the pie charts above includes the city manager’s office, the City Council, the City Clerk’s office and the Law Department.

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