A while ago, some asshole with a blog noted this about the reality of ‘defunding’ the police:
But reallocating much of the funding, especially if some of that funding goes towards more investigative/regulatory purposes, such as preventing wage theft and dangerous working conditions, and preventative measures (e.g., housing, lead abatement, jobs, etc.)? Sure, I can see that happening.
Since municipalities and states aren’t currency issuers, they’ll either have to raise taxes or cut something–and in some places, cutting police departments might be politically acceptable thing to cut. For now, anyway.
The brutal reality is that cities, at some point, were going to have to make budget cuts–and for many cities, that time appears to be now. So what gets cut? Well, if you’re New York City’s Mayor Adams, it’s apparently the public library (boldface mine):
Saturday closures, restricted weekday hours, cuts to educational programs and a freeze on new branch openings.
Those are some of the drastic steps New York City’s public library systems may be forced to take if Mayor Adams moves ahead with his push to cut their budgets by more than $36 million this year, according to damning City Council testimony Monday.
The testimony, delivered by the heads of the city’s three public library systems, underscores just how detrimental they fear Adams’ first city budget proposal would be if adopted by the Council.
Rolled out by Adams in January, the $102.7 billion budget bid would eliminate $20.7 million in baseline funding for the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library systems. In addition, the Adams plan would slash a $15.7 million “Libraries Initiative” created by the Council last year, putting the across-the-board funding shave for the three systems at $36.2 million…
“This is lifesaving, public safety infrastructure,” Democratic Socialist Queens Councilwoman Tiffany Caban said at a rally on the City Hall steps before Monday’s hearing. “Give the libraries all the money.”
…Local politicians and advocates have long pushed for the city’s library branches to keep open Sundays, arguing they are critical resource hubs for low-income New Yorkers as they can access Wi-Fi, homework help, job fairs and a range of other services there.
But Brooklyn Public Library President Linda Johnson said the funding levels floated by Adams would not only make Sunday service impossible. She said they would likely also force her system’s branches to suspend Saturday service.
“If these cuts are implemented, we will be forced to shorten hours or have Saturday closures, even though the number of library visits continues to rise,” she said…
Programs that could be on the chopping block include “Storytime” for school-aged children and literacy workshops for adults and kids, he said.
People who get upset about ‘defund the police’ need to explain what they would do here. It would be illuminating to say the least.
For context, the NYC police budget is over $10 billion, and overtime pay is on track to exceed the budgeted amount by $454 million. At some point, municipalities are going to have to start ‘defunding the police’ because they’re already defunding everything else–and people like having (a few) nice tangible things and services, not just cops.