The majority of the D.C. Council has expressed concerns about Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposal to redirect $43 million to the Metropolitan Police Department.
In a letter Friday to interim City Administrator Kevin Donahue, nine lawmakers said the mayor’s proposal comes “in the context of concerning police tactics” used during protests and her opposition to the council cutting $15 million from the MPD budget.
“Please provide a detailed explanation of the specific costs that were incurred … and confirm that these reprogrammed funds are in no way being used as an end run around the Council’s policy decision to limit MPD’s sworn hiring in the FY21 approved budget,” the letter states.
Most of the funds requested by Miss Bowser would cover police overtime expenses from the summer’s racial justice protests, which the council members said amounts to $10 million more than MPD’s entire approved overtime budget.
The proposal would redirect funds from the Department of Health Care Finance ($28.3 million), the Workforce Investments Account ($12.7 million) and the Child and Family Services ($2 million).
The lawmakers argue that the money could be used to modernize the D.C. Healthcare Alliance, allow for cost-of-living adjustments for city government workers and bolster the Grandparent Caregiver program.
DOCUMENT: D.C. Council letter to Mayor Bowser
The four-page letter was signed by council members Vincent Gray, Brianne Nadeau, Charles Allen, David Grosso, Elissa Silverman, Robert White, Brooke Pinto, Kenyan McDuffie and Mary Cheh.