Along with a public health crisis, COVID-19 has brought dire fiscal problems to state and local governments. Leaders charged balancing budgets are figuring out what will have to be cut, and in some places the spotlight is on municipal police budgets.

Police budgets came into focus after the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white officer catalyzed a period of national civil unrest that continues three months later. The call for action is the same across cities: “defund the police.” For a few, means disbanding police departments, but for most, it means reallocating some law enforcement dollars to other community resources.

$2 Trillion Stimulus On March 27, the President signed the $2 trillion CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) of 2020 to “provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses ...


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