Spencer Cronk did not cut $11 million from APD

When City Manager Spencer Cronk unveiled his budget last week, he touted an $11.3 million cut to the police department, which he framed as a response to the demands from activists and City Council to “reinvent” public safety.

Media outlets, including yours truly, noted that that cut far short of the $100 million cut demanded by some, but didn’t think to question whether the $11.3 million figure was accurate. Why would it be? A source suggested I actually look at the budget. 

If you look at the lower right corner, you’ll see the difference between the budget approved last year and this year’s proposed budget. The difference is a whopping $154k. Less than the cost of two officers.

What gives? Here’s the explanation provided by a city spokesman: 

The base budget for each department is forecast each Spring. For APD it included cost drivers such as the 2% wage increase and the 30 officers called for in the 5 year Police staffing plan. The $11.3 million cut was from the FY21 base budget that existed prior to Council passing the two resolutions.

So $11 million wasn’t cut from the police budget. Rather, Cronk has proposed a police budget that is $11 million smaller than what he planned on proposing a few months ago.

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