“Defund the police” has become the new rallying cry for local and nationwide uprisings against police brutality.
For New Haven, that demand prompts an obvious question: What’s in the local police budget, anyway?
Let’s take a look at the $43,125,941 included in the final, Board of Alders-approved general fund budget for the New Haven Police Department.
That departmental allocation makes up roughly 7.6 percent of the city’s overall $567.9 million general fund budget slated to take effect July 1, which is the first day of Fiscal Year 2020-21 (FY21).
See the bottom of this article for a line-by-line breakdown of the local police department budget.
Sifting through the numbers reveals that most of the police department’s budget goes towards the full-time salaries for 249 police officers, 54 detectives, 45 sergeants, and 16 lieutenants assigned to the patrol division in next fiscal year’s budget.
Those 364 budgeted patrol position salaries add up to $28,832,688, or 66 percent of FY21’s overall police general fund budget. (Note that these refer to budgeted positions, not necessarily actively employed personnel. More below on current vacancies in the department.)
Salaries for the other 99 full-time budgeted police positions, including for the chief, assistant chiefs, record clerks, detention center officers, kennel workers, and police mechanics, add up to a total of $5,050,574.
The department’s FY21 budgeted overtime, meanwhile, adds up to a total of $7,054,888. That includes overtime budgeted for patrol, the detention center, events, and a summer antiviolence initiative,
Overall, 76 percent of the FY21 police department budget is allocated to personal services (i.e. full-time or part-time salaries), 16 percent to overtime, 4 percent to rentals and services, 1.7 percent to materials and supplies, 1.3 percent to equipment, and 0.07 percent to allowance and travel.
Local Demands, Nationwide Movement
The youth leaders behind New Haven’s 5,000-person march against police brutality and for police abolition promoted eight specific demands over the course of last Friday’s four-hour rally and protest.
Towards the top of that list (which can be read in full here) is pulling $33 million from the local police department’s general fund budget and reallocating that money towards the Board of Education’s budget instead.
The youth activists also demanded the the city and the school board scrap all school resource officers (aka cops in schools) and replace them with more guidance counselors.
The city has had a School Resource Officer (SRO) program since 1994. The program places 12 sworn, uniformed police officers, as funded by the New Haven Police Department, in local middle schools and high schools.
These calls for redistributing funds from the police and towards social services are not unique to New Haven. Thousands upon thousands of protesters throughout the country have issued similar demands for their own states and municipalities.
And, at least in terms of rhetoric and promises, some local politicians from throughout the country have responded and committed to doing just that.
A veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council recently announced their commitment to dismantling that city’s police department and building up instead a new system of public safety.
New York City’s mayor recently said that he will pull a yet-to-be-determined amount from the Big Apple’s $6 billion police budget. And Los Angeles’s mayor recently pledged to remove upwards of $150 million from that city’s police department and reinvest those funds instead into job programs and public health initiatives designed to help that city’s black and brown populations.
Police Department Already Cut
Months before George Floyd was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day and anti-police brutality protests swept the nation, Mayor Justin Elicker proposed slashing over 30 currently vacant budgeted positions from the police department.
Those proposed cuts arose not necessarily from a racial justice-motivated effort to “defund the police,” but rather from the first-term mayor’s push to mitigate the city budget’s overall structural deficit.
The final police budget approved by the Board of Alders in late May dropped the total number of budgeted police department positions from 494 to 463 for the coming fiscal year.
That includes a cut to the total number of sworn police budgeted positions (e.g. police officers, detectives, sergeants, lieutenants, etc…) from 434 to 406.
That latter number is still quite a bit higher than the current number of police actually working on the local force.
According to the city’s April 2020 monthly financial report, the department currently has 340 filled sworn police positions—leaving 94 budgeted sworn positions currently vacant.
For the past half-decade, New Haven has seen officers flee the force to go to better-paying jobs in the suburbs or at Yale. The city and the police union finally agreed to a new union contract in the summer of 2019—over three years after the previous accord had expired.
According to the July 2019 monthly financial report, the city began this current fiscal year with 364 sworn police personnel active on the force—24 more than in April 2020.
Budgeted Full-Time Police Positions
Below is a list of every full-time budgeted police department position. Each position’s division (e.g. operations/patrol, chief’s office) is listed in parentheses.
The list is sorted by aggregate cost per position, according to the FY21 budget.
249 Police Officers (Operations/Patrol): $18,914,787
54 Detectives (Operations/Patrol): $4,547,880
45 Sergeants (Operations/Patrol): $3,845,925
16 Lieutenants (Operations/Patrol): $1,524,096
17 Police Officers (Detention Center): $1,291,371
14 Police Records Clerks (Support Services): $564,802
3 Assistant Chiefs (Chief’s Office): $376,278
3 Captains (Operations/Patrol): $313,713
6 Police Records Clerk iis (Support Services): $272,250
1 Chief of Police (Chief’s Office): $169,900
2 Mechanics (Support Services): $127,508
2 Police Mechanics (Support Services): $127,508
3 Police Records Clerks (Support Services): $126,519
2 Mun. Asst Animal Control Officers (Animal Shelter): $97,824
2 Police Detail Data Control Clerks (Support Services): $96,182
1 Lieutenant (Detention Center): $95,256
2 Account Clerk IIs (Chief’s Office): $88,914
2 Building Attendant IIs (Support Services): $86,372
2 Administrative Assistants (Chief’s Office): $86,170
1 Superintendent/Police Vehicles (Support Services): $84,254
1 Supervisor of Management Services (Chief’s Office): $83,613
2 Kennel Workers (Animal Shelter): $82,962
1 Geo Info System Analyst (Chief’s Office): $78,213
1 Management Analyst IV (Chief’s Office): $73,702
1 Police Mechanic (Support Services): $66,997
1 Executive Administrative Assistant (Chief’s Office): $66,370
1 Administrative Assistant (Chief’s Office): $63,459
1 Management Analyst II (Chief’s Office): $60,388
1 Grants administrator and contract coordinator (Chief’s Office): $60,052
1 Account Clerk IV (Chief’s Office): $57,551
1 Account Clerk IV (Chief’s Office): $56,642
1 Off Set Printer (Support Services): $54,908
1 Records Supervisor (Support Services): $54,167
1 Transcriptionist (Support Services): $48,109
1 Body Worn Camera Tech Assistant (Support Services): $47,957
1 Administrative Assistant (Chief’s Office): $45,826
1 Crime Analyst (Support Services): $44,819
16 Police Officers ($1) (Operations/Patrol): $16
1 Assistant Chief ($1) (Chief’s Office): $1
1 Police Mechanic ($1) (Support Services): $1
Police Overtime Budget
Below is a a breakdown of the police overtime budget, by division.
Overtime (Operations/Patrol): $5,579,888
Overtime (Detention Center): $825,000
Overtime for events (Operations/Patrol): $550,000
Summer Antiviolence Initiative overtime (Operations/Patrol): $100,000
Other Police Budget Expenditures
Below is a breakdown of all other budgeted police expenditures, not including overtime and full-time salaried positions.
Maintenance Service Agreement (Support Services): $529,500
Rolling Stock (Police Central Services): $450,000
Equipment (Police Central Services): $390,000
Clothing (Supply Room): $325,000
Pay Differential (Chief’s Office): $278,000
Repairs & Mainteance Service (Vehicle Maintenance): $230,000
Other Contractual Services (Police Central Services): $210,000
Other Equipment (Supply Room): $198,000
Other Contractual Services (Chief’s Office): $150,000
Training and Other (Chief’s Office): $130,000
Clothing (Chief’s Office): $119,000
Educational Incentive (Chief’s Office): $72,050
Temporary and PT Help (Chief’s Office): $55,000
General Office Supplies (Supply Room): $40,000
Repairs and Maintenance Service (Police Central Services): $40,000
Other Contractual Services (Animal Shelter): $33,387
Allowance and Travel (Chief’s Office): $30,000
Maintenance Agreements (Chief’s Office): $30,000
Printing and Binding (Supply Room): $30,000
Repairs and Maintenance Services (Building Maintenance): $30,000
Registration Dues & Subs (Chief’s Office): $20,310
Repairs and Maintenance Service (Wintergreen): $20,000
Other Contractual Services (Detention Center): $17,000
Food and Food Products (Animal Shelter): $17,000
Other Contractual Services (Vehicle Maintenance): $15,000
Other Contractual Services (Police K-9 Unit): $13,000
Medical Supplies (Animal Shelter): $10,000
Office and Lab Equipment (Operations/ID Unit): $9,576
Medical Supplies (Detention Center): $8,000
Food and Food Products (Police K-9 Unit): $6,737
Other Contractual Services (Operations/PAL Junior Police): $4,010
Building and Ground Maintenance Support (Animal Shelter): $3,840
Advertising (Animal Shelter): $2,000
Equipment (Police K-9 Unit): $500
Click here to read the mayor’s March 1 proposed budget.