As the City Council prepares to fine-tune the budget for this fiscal year, two Portland City Commissioners are poised to make a dramatic ask.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly are uniting behind a call for $18 million in cuts to the police bureau's budget.
The city is in the midst of its fall budget monitoring process. Typically, this is a time to tinker lightly with the budget that the council approved over the summer. Back in June, after a month of racial justice protests and loud calls to pull funding from police, Hardesty spearheaded a $15 million cut that defunded three of the police bureau's specialty units.
Four months later, Hardesty is leading the push for another significant cut.
In a memo sent to her fellow commissioners Monday, Oct. 19, Hardesty described the changes she wanted to make to the budget. The commissioner described cuts that would eliminate funding for the Rapid Response Team, which is responsible for crowd control, and the Special Emergency Reaction Team, which functions as the city's SWAT team. The council had previously cut eight positions from the team over the summer.
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